Police: Mall shooting targeted 1 of 3 victims; gunman sought

AP News
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Posted: Feb 08, 2015 4:25 AM
Police: Mall shooting targeted 1 of 3 victims; gunman sought

MONROEVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Three people were hospitalized Sunday with gunshot wounds after a man opened fire on another man at a Pittsburgh-area mall and struck two bystanders as well, police said, and officers were searching for the suspect.

The Monroeville Mall went on lockdown Saturday evening after the shooting. Police said they have a description of the escaped suspect.

The shootings occurred inside the Macy's at about 7:30 p.m. local time, sending panicked shoppers running. Police went store to store to evacuate the mall, which closed for the night.

Police Chief Douglas Cole said two men and a woman were shot, including the man who was targeted. He said the two men were in critical condition, while the woman was in stable condition.

Police were looking at the mall's surveillance video as part of their investigation.

"This was not random," Cole told reporters. "We have evidence that leads to that." He declined to elaborate.

He said police were looking for a black male in his late teens.

Local officials and mall administration agreed to increase security at the mall after several fights among teenagers broke out there in December.

Shoppers described chaos as shots rang out.

"All of the sudden we heard people screaming," Athena Coffey of Churchill told KDKA-TV, "and the next thing you see is a bunch of people, teenagers, scared to death, just exodus en masse in a way you could not believe. I grabbed my children, husband, we started screaming 'go, go, go!'"

Yvette Jackson was attending a birthday party at Giggles and Smiles, a fitness and fun center for children.

"We saw a lot of running, a lot of chaos," she told the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review. She said she and other patrons were locked in the store for about 45 minutes until police came and let them out.