UPDATED 11/05/13 1:47 a.m.
PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police responded in force late Monday and early Tuesday, after a gunman fired several shots inside the Garden City Plaza Mall.
While there were no injuries reported, the gunman remained at large as of midnight Tuesday morning and was believed to have left the mall.
“At approximately 9:19 this evening, a single male entered the Garden State Plaza mall and fired several shots while the shopping mall was still open,” Paramus police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg said in a statement. “He was dressed in black wearing what is believed to be a motorcycle helmet. The weapon has not yet been recovered. No further shots were fired and there are no reported injuries.”
At the scene, Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera emphasized that everyone was safe.
“There has been no injuries, there has been no victims, and we are now searching the mall and sweeping it,” LaBarbiera added at a news conference.
“We found one shell casing, which I believe was from a long-armed rifle,” Paramus Office of Emergency Management deputy coordinator Jim Tedesco said on 1010 WINS.
Late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, agencies from all over New Jersey were going through the mall and sweeping the area. The mall was placed on lockdown, and crews were passing through in an attempt to evacuate the mall in a safe and orderly way.
Despite some people who reported more than one gunman, LaBarbiera said there was just one. He said the shooter was believed to have left the mall.
Authorities were also trying to make sure no one else was tied to the shooting.
As of 1:45 a.m., employees and shoppers continued to exit the mall. The staging area to pick them up had been set up at the Chili’s parkikng lot adjacent to Route 17SB, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.
The mall will be closed throughout the day on Tuesday, WCBS 880 has learned.
The incident happened inside the mall beginning sometime before the mall in Paramus, N.J. closed for the night at 9:30 p.m.