Authorities confident of eventual arrest in mall shooting
MONROEVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Authorities are expressing confidence that surveillance images will lead to an arrest in a shooting outside a western Pennsylvania mall that stemmed from a fight between two groups and prompted an evacuation.
Monroeville police said two groups of four to five males began fighting at about 8 p.m. Friday at the Monroeville Mall. The brawl spilled out of the Macy’s department store entrance, where one person pulled a gun and fired about 10 shots. No injuries were initially reported and police said local hospitals reported no one had arrived for treatment.
The mall, about 17 miles (27 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh, was placed on lockdown and later evacuated. Authorities found bullet holes in the glass doors of a Macy’s entrance and evidence markers were placed in a roped off area outside the department store.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that shoppers initially recounted being told to stay inside stores, and clerks at some were locking their doors. Monroeville Mall said in a Twitter post that police evacuated the building “out of an abundance of caution.” Officials said the mall reopened at 10 a.m. Saturday and was operating normally.
Chief Doug Cole called the shooting “a targeted event” rather than an “active shooter” situation. He said he was confident that video surveillance footage and license plate recognition software would lead to an arrest.
Kelly Nort said she was in the mall food court when three or four officers came running down the escalators holding rifles and told people to get down. More officers came later and told people to leave.
“People were just running everywhere,” Nort said. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Ryan Kumanchik, 17, of Penn Hills, said he also was in the food court when a lockdown was announced and people were told to shelter in place. He and his friends went into a restaurant, but then an announcement came that there had been a shooting and people should leave.
“A lot of people started to panic,” Kumanchik said. “It was hard to stay calm.”