DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Three people were shot and wounded Friday during an apparent fight between two groups at a North Carolina mall crowded with shoppers on the day after Thanksgiving, the police chief said.
Authorities said in the late afternoon that one person was detained and there was no further threat to the public.
Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews told reporters the shooting happened around 3:20 p.m. inside The Streets at Southpoint mall during a fight between two groups who knew each other. She said one of the victims was a 10-year-old child hit when a bullet ricocheted. She said the wounds did not appear life-threatening.
She said another three people were injured as shoppers rushed for exits following the shooting.
She said those involved in the fight that led to the shooting fled, but she vowed more arrests. She said there was no further threat to the public.
“This is not a situation where someone came into the mall and indiscriminately began firing,” she said.
WRAL-TV showed traffic snarled around the mall for more than an hour after the shooting, with lines of cars trying to exit the parking lot, and numerous police cars with lights flashing outside a department store. Shoppers told the television station that crowds of people began running out of the mall after the noisy altercation that began with yelling and included what sounded like gunshots.
Craig Lloyd had just left the mall, while his wife was still inside shopping when the shooting occurred. He was driving back to his home in Efland when he got a telephone call.
“She said ‘There’s gunshots. They’ve got us locked in the store,’” Lloyd said in a phone interview. “I turned around and went back to the mall.”
Lloyd said he found an entrance to the mall that had not been blocked and entered in hopes of finding his wife, as well as his sister, who was also inside the mall and at a different store. His wife was allowed to leave the mall more than an hour later. He said people had their hands up as they exited the mall.