Mall in Columbia Lockdown: Three Dead Including ShooterBy: Jasmine Allen - January 25, 2014
Three people have been confirmed dead after a shooting took place on Saturday at a mall in Columbia, Md., resorting police officials to order a lockdown.
Authorities initially started responding to 911 calls around 11:15 a.m. It wasn’t until 12:30 p.m. that police officers decided to confine the premises.
Upon arrival, officers immediately escorted customers located near the food court outside.
Others were directed towards the AMC theatre to move away from the scene of the shooting.
According to one anonymous witness, the shooting is believed to have taken place on the upper level near Sear’s, which is next to the food court.
However, Howard County Police have confirmed that it took place at a skate store called Zumiez.
One mall employee shared with the Washington Post that she was unaware of the guns shots until she heard people screaming that someone had a gun.
“I think this country is in a lot if trouble,” said Laura McKindles.“I mean, what possesses someone to, on a Saturday afternoon, in this cold, to come to a mall and shoot people? Why? I just can’t understand what motivates that.”
Ambulances were said to be located near the entrance of J.C. Penney assisting freezing customers into warm vehicles and those without coats with blankets.
Investigators scouted the parking lots, looking through car trunks for any possible evidence.
The Washington Post’s live update blog reported at 2:12 p.m. that there are still no motives as to why the shooting took place. However, investigators are sure that there was only a single shooter.
Until further information comes forward, the Columbia Mall will be closed until Saturday night, according to a twitter post by the Howard County Police Department.
Besides three fatalities, two victims were sent to the hospital for minor injuries unrelated to the shooting. One other victim is being treated for a gunshot to the foot.
Police discovered one of the deceased located near ammunition. The shooter is believed to be one of the people found dead.
The next media briefing is scheduled for 4 p.m.