WAUWATOSA, Wis. (NewsNation Now/AP) — Police in Wisconsin say that eight people were injured in a shooting Friday at a suburban Milwaukee mall and that they are still seeking the suspect.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber gave no motive for the attack at Mayfair Mall in a brief update about three hours after the 2:50 p.m. incident. He said the extent of injuries to the eight — seven adults and one teenager — was unknown, but all were alive. He added that the shooter was “no longer at the scene.”
Weber said based on statements from the wounded, police were seeking a white man in his 20s or 30s and were working to identify the man. He called the mall an active crime scene and asked people to continue to stay away.
WISN reported that at least five people were taken away from the mall on stretchers, at least two of whom were sitting upright and appeared to be conscious. Some people remained in the mall while police searched for a suspect. The station interviewed several people outside the mall who said they had friends sheltering in stores inside.
Jill Wooley was inside Macy’s with her 79-year-old mother when they heard eight to 12 gun shots just outside the store entrance.
“We heard the first shot fired and knew immediately it was a gunshot,” Wooley told CBS58 in Milwaukee. “We both just dropped to the floor.”
Wooley said she didn’t see anyone but the shots were “very close.” She added that they ran in the opposite direction to the basement of the store, where they then hid.
Trish Cox’s 19-year-old nephew works at Finish Line sporting goods store. She said she was worried because the store’s phone wasn’t being answered. She was waiting frantically while FBI agents cleared the mall.
An agent who wouldn’t give his name said the mall was being “methodically” cleared. Heavily armed FBI personnel were visible at the mall.
Mall operator Brookfield Properties said in a statement they were “disheartened and angered that our guests and tenants were subject to this violent incident today.” They declined further comment.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner tweeted they are not responding to the scene.
The Mayfair Mall was the site of a February shooting in which a city police officer, Joseph Mensah, shot and killed Alvin Cole, a Black 17-year-old. Police said Cole was fleeing from police; Mensah, who is also Black, said he shot Cole because Cole pointed a gun at him. The mall was the target of sporadic protests over several months in the wake of the shooting.
The Milwaukee County district attorney declined to file charges against Mensah, but the city this week agreed to a separation agreement in which Mensah will be paid at least $130,00 to leave the force.
This story is developing. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.