Shooting at suburban Atlanta mall injures 1 as shoppers flee

National

Bystanders wait outside as authorities investigate an incident at Cumbnerland Mall in Smyrna, Ga., on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

ATLANTA (AP) — A shooting that wounded one person in a mall food court sent suburban Atlanta shoppers fleeing in panic Saturday.

The Cobb County Police Department says the person was wounded at Cumberland Mall after 1 p.m., and that the shooting suspect then ran away. The victim was taken to a hospital, but police didn’t identify the person or describe the extent of the victim’s injuries.

Police said they have identified a suspect and are looking for him.

Three witnesses told The Associated Press they saw a man bleeding on the floor of the mall’s food court after shots were heard. None of the witnesses would identify themselves.

Videos posted online showed people with shopping bags running in all directions from the food court, with some hiding under counters and tables. Shoppers reported that store employees in some cases told them to hide in stockrooms.

Zyon Davis told WGCL-TV that he was shopping in a sporting goods store when he overheard two men arguing loudly at a deli in the food court. Davis said one of the men then drew a gun.

“You heard the gunshots, probably two or three shots,” Davis said.

In the aftermath, Davis said some people pushed and shoved others to the ground as they ran.

“It was very chaotic,” Davis said. “Everybody was running everywhere. Everything was a mess.”

Police said the shooting was “an isolated incident,” calling it a dispute between people who knew each other and “not an active shooter event.” Police added that the original supervisor who arrived at the mall, “out of an abundance of caution,” described the scene as an active shooter incident, meaning a gunman targeting numbers of people in a public place.

The mall was closed for a time Saturday afternoon following the shooting.

Cumberland Mall, in suburban Cobb County, is owned by Brookfield Properties, which manages more than 170 shopping centers across the United States. The mall has more than 1 million square feet (92,000 square meters) of retail space and is anchored by Macy’s and Costco. It’s in a busy suburban business district, near where major league baseball’s Atlanta Braves play in their new stadium.

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