ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Police responded to a shooting at the The Mills at Jersey Gardens mall on Friday evening that left one man wounded and prompted pandemonium as a stampede of shoppers screamed and sprinted away from the building.
(UPDATE: Saturday, 10 a.m. ET) – The mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey says the shooting was sparked by an argument between two men in the mall. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital however, police report that he is not cooperating with the investigation. The shooter is still on the run.
The incident was reported shortly after 8 p.m. at the Elizabeth, N.J., shopping center on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Witnesses tell CBS2 they heard two shots and a man was shot in the wrist following a fight the hallway of Tommy Hilfiger’s and Marshalls stores.
No suspect is in custody. Police are reviewing footage and going through the surveillance cameras to identify the person that was there.
The mall was evacuated as shoppers scrambled for cover and fled the building. Earlier a second medical incident was reported but it was not directed related to the shooting.
Witness Describes Scene Of Evacuation After Mall Shooting
“Somebody pulled us to the side and said, “They’re shooting, somebody’s shooting,” said Khadija Awa Diop of Jersey City, who was with family members shopping at the mall.
“It’s crazy that this stuff keeps happening,” she said.
Scene Of Chaos At New Jersey Shopping Mall
Some people in the mall told CBS2 they heard two shots while others just saw people running and screaming so they did too.
“When Elizabeth police responded they immediately locked down the mall,” said Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage. “They then had the parking lot emptied and after the parking lot was sufficiently emptied they allowed the customers in the mall to start to leave, as the customers were leaving they then went through each store individually.”
Initial Reports Of Shooting At Mall
Posts on social media reported people hiding in the back room of retail stores after the incident began.
“Just left Jersey Garden Mall at Elizabeth, NJ. Possible Active shooter inside! Complete lock down,” posted Zeeshan Asim.
Twitter user @raghuariga shared a photo of the traffic gridlock which followed the evacuation.
About The Mills At Jersey Gardens Mall
The Mills at Jersey Gardens is New Jersey’s biggest outlet mall, a two-story outdoor/indoor mall.
About 25,000 people were in and out of the mall Friday, which opened at 10 a.m. yesterday on Thanksgiving was scheduled to close at 10 p.m.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Elizabeth Police at 908-558-2111.