Gunshots reported inside Raleigh mall as shoppers, workers evacuate

(WNCN)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Crabtree Valley Mall is empty Saturday afternoon as everyone inside was evacuated following reports of gunshots fired inside the mall.

A report of gunshots fired inside the mall came in to police at about 2:30 p.m., but police hours later said they still could not confirm that shots were fired.

No one has been arrested and no one has suffered any gunshot wounds, police said. Glenwood Avenue/ US 70 is closed and will reopen by 7 p.m., NC DOT said.

Eight people — ranging in ages from 10 to 70 — were transported to area hospitals for minor injuries, mainly from falls, while trying to exit the mall after the reported gunshots, police said in a news conference at 6 p.m.

Also, during the police news conference, police said they were unsure when anyone would be allowed back inside the mall.

Meanwhile, Go Raleigh has sent buses to the mall so evacuees can shelter from the heat inside the buses. Some people were inside the nearby Marriott where dozens lined the hallways and the lobby.

Antonio Richardson, the owner of Casanova, a clothing store in the mall, says he saw a shooting unfold after an argument in the food court and that he heard as many as four shots.

He told The Associated Press that he was standing at the entrance to his store Saturday afternoon when he saw two men who appeared to be in their early 20s arguing in the food court.

He says he saw one of them pull out a gun and begin shooting. As he was running away, he says he heard as many as four shots in all.

A witness, Laurren Baker, told CBS News that she and her friends heard gunshots as they were entering the mall.

They turned and ran outside, along with a rush of other people. Baker said the incident happened near the mall’s food court and she saw a person get handcuffed, but police have not confirmed those details and said no one has been arrested.

John Riggleman and Kristin Warring told The Associated Press that they were heading to a video game store when they heard shots, also coming from the mall’s food court. They ran into the store with dozens of others before the doors of the mall were locked.

Warring said she heard an additional series of shots.

A witness told CBS North Carolina’s Amy Cutler that she heard gunshots fired. Another witness told WNCN’s Patrick Priest that he heard two shots inside the mall.

An employee from H & M also told Cutler that workers were told to immediately evacuate the mall.

Security officials are ordering people to leave mall property — telling them that a lockdown is in place and it will be in place for several hours.

At least 100 people who were once inside the mall are gathered at the Marriott across from the mall.

EMS and fire crews set up a staging area near the mall.

Here is a full statement from Raleigh Police, released at 4:12 p.m.:

At approximately 2:30 p.m., Raleigh Police responded to a report of shots fired inside the Crabtree Valley mall located at 4325 Glenwood Ave. Nobody is currently being let in or out of the mall at this time.

No suspects have been arrested, and no one with gunshot wounds has been located.

Additional information will be released as follow-up work on the call continues.

— The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report

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