JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City was evacuated Friday evening after authorities say two people were shot.

Police initially responded to the busy shopping center around 6:15 p.m. for reports of a fist fight in the food court, which soon escalated to reports of shots fired between people involved in the brawl.

WATCH: Mayor Steven Fulop, Others Discuss Shooting At Newport Centre Mall 

“From what I saw it started as just a discussion, and started getting heated up,” witness Adnane Jaballah, who was at the mall with his daughter told CBS2’s Valerie Castro. “From nowhere someone got the gun and started shooting.”

Jaballah’s daughter was inside the mall’s movie theater nearby, and says the film she was watching suddenly stopped playing.

“Police officers walked in so we got really scared,” Manel Jaballah said. “I was separated from my dad, I didn’t know where my dad was… where my brother was.”

WATCH: Officials Provide Additional Information On Mall Shooting 

The mall was evacuated as first responders arrived at the scene and discovered a man shot in the arm and foot near the food court.

A short time later, police say another man arrived at Jersey City Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his abdomen.

Mayor Steven Fulop said an arrest warrant was out for one of the injured people in connection with another shooting nearby. Both men are in critical but stable condition.

Police Chief Michael Kelly said the shooting could possibly be gang-related. He said authorities know “some of the victims” and that they “weren’t up to anything very good.”

Some were left wondering if there should be more security at the mall all the time.

“I’m very frightened,” Jaballah said. “How easy is it for these people to have gun in their hands and get gun in the middle of a mall like this?”

NJ TRANSIT bus service to and from the mall was suspended in response to the shooting, which remains under investigation.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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