WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities are still trying to figure out what led to an incident Thursday at a New Jersey mall that ended with a man dead and shoppers shaken.
Officials say a suspected shoplifter armed with a knife was shot and killed by a uniformed police officer working at the Woodbridge Center Mall after he took a woman hostage inside Sears.
Shopper Tyler Bruno shot video on his cell phone as the scene was unfolding.
“We found everybody saying do not go in the mall, saying do not go in the mall, something crazy’s going on in the mall,” said Bruno.
The unidentified suspect was confronted by security after allegedly shoplifting at a clothing store. That’s when officials say he took off toward Sears and grabbed a woman, holding a long kitchen knife to her neck.
“They were all saying how big his knife was,” said Bruno. “And how he put it against her throat.”
“All of a sudden they shut down the gates at Sears,” said shopper Colleen Veder. “We took off running cause we knew something happened. My sister-in-law called to say get out of the mall there was a shooting.”
Many shoppers took off running, including one woman who says she saw the whole thing. Visibly shaken, she recounted how police killed the suspect in the store with a single shot.
“The guy got away and was running with his knife and then not even a minute later, you heard a shot,” she said. “And then, everybody screaming, everybody just starts running.”
“They heard the shot and that’s all they remember,” said Bruno. “One gunshot. Just one gunshot.”
The suspect’s name has not been released. The woman was not hurt.
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