Black Friday is here. Deals are being doled out at major shopping chains, the doors were open early this morning, and there’s usually some video of people fighting over a flat screen television. Things have become somewhat safer while shopping on Black Friday; this is in part to people buying things onlineas well. Still, you get the tragic storiesof people getting killedduring this day of frenzied shopping. Yet, in Alabama, one shopping outing turned into a gunfight (via Atlanta Journal Constitution):
A shooting at an Alabama mall Thursday night left at two people injured and the one person dead, according to multiple news outlets.
The incident took place at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover as shoppers began looking for Black Friday deals.
Hoover police said a fight broke out between two teenagers inside the mall near the Footaction store and resulted in an exchange of gunfire, WTVM reported.
One of the teens, an 18-year-old, was injured and the other tried to flee but was confronted by Hoover police, the television station reported.
Hoover police confirm the shooter is dead in an officer involved shooting. Still don’t have number of injuries— carol robinson (@RobinsonCarol) November 23, 2018
Footage from inside of the Galleria Mall shooting just minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/MHw4BgWB6g— Austin Smith (@Aus10Smithh) November 23, 2018
The incident at the Galleria has been brought under control by Hoover PD. Please avoid the mall area at this time.— City of Hoover (@CityofHoover) November 23, 2018
Police killed the gunman. A 12-year old girl was struck during the firefight. She was reported as alert and talking to authorities. The second injured teen is alive, but in serious condition.
“We are devastated by the incident that happened tonight in our shopping center. We are working closely with the Hoover Police Department and are grateful for their swift action to contain the situation, said Riverchase Galleria in a statement. “While there is no current danger to our community, the shopping center will remain closed until further notice.”
Police were already at the mall prior to the shooting as a precaution due to the frenetic nature of the day. AL.com reported that they were able to secure the scene quickly, with some shoppers drawing their firearms when shots were fired:
Lexi Joiner said she was shopping with her mother when the gunfire erupted between J.C. Penney and Foot Action on the mall’s second floor. She said she heard six or seven shots ring out and was ordered, along with other nearby shoppers, into a supply closet for cover.
“It was terrifying,’’ Joiner said.
Several shoppers were seen with their guns drawn. One eyewitness was leaving the mall and entering the parking deck when he heard multiple shots, he ran to his car as people were fleeing the entrance by Journey’s. He heard tires squealing as people tried to flee.
This was my first Black Friday,” the high schools senior said. “I knew it would be crazy, just not this crazy.”
Hoover police already had a heavy presence both outside and inside the mall. They quickly secured a perimeter and worked methodically to evacuate shoppers. “We have a plan and our plan works,’’ said Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis.
Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rectors said the shooting happened at 9:52 p.m. “We received a call of shots fired outside of Foot Action. We already had multiple officers working at the mall for traffic control and police presence inside,’’ he said.