By Jueseppi B.
From The Baltimore Sun:
The Howard County Police have confirmed that three people have been killed in a shooting at the Mall in Columbia. One of those killed is believed to be the shooter.
Police reported at 12:30 p.m that they are in the mall to clear people out safely and that the area is now believed to be secure.
The public should wait for police before evacuating.
Police said one of the victims, found near a gun and ammunition, was not identified.
Customers inside the mall said they heard shots and ran. The police department is advising people to avoid the area.
Customers inside the mall are reporting that the mall is in lockdown and some customers have been directed toward the AMC Theater away from the scene of the shooting. Other customers reported hearing gunfire before fleeing the mall.
Fire dispatchers have started planning how to let customers exit the mall in groups. The dispatchers have also requested buses to evacate the customers.
There is a heavy police presence at the mall with helicopters circling overhead and police officers searching car trunks in the parking lot.
(AFP) – 28 minutes ago
Columbia (United States) — Three people were killed in a shooting at a popular shopping mall in a suburb of the US capital, authorities said Saturday.
Howard County Police, which announced the fatalities via Twitter, said the suspected shooter at the Columbia Mall was among the dead.
“Police are in mall to clear people out safely,” it tweeted. “Mall is believed to be secure, but people inside should wait for police.”
Authorities were alerted by an emergency call to police at 1615 GMT that indicated shots were fired, it said.
“Police made entry and found three dead, one found near a gun and ammunition,” it tweeted.
It did not immediately provide more details on the other victims or on the motive of the shooting.
Earlier news reports had said that the mall, located in Columbia, Maryland, about 45 minutes outside Washington, was on “lockdown” because of an “active shooter situation.”
The mall of about 200 stores is a popular weekend destination for families and young children for its indoor carousel and play area.
The Baltimore Sun newspaper said shoppers reported hearing gunfire before fleeing the upscale mall, home to several department stores such as Lord & Taylor, Macy’s and Nordstrom.
NBC television spoke to one man who said he was in phone contact with his daughter, who was taking shelter in a Bank of America inside the shopping center, along with dozens of others.
The young woman described a chaotic scene as shoppers were told to evacuate or quickly take shelter.
“People were panicking,” the man said.
Three people confirmed dead in suburban Baltimore mall shooting
Authorities said that three people were found dead at the Mall in Columbia outside of Baltimore, Md. One of the deceased was found near a gun and ammunition.
BY BETH STEBNER / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Three people have been confirmed dead — including the suspected shooter — after gunfire rang out at a mall in suburban Baltimore, local authorities said Saturday.
According to the Howard County Police Department, three people were found gunned down at the the Mall in Columbia, with one of the deceased located near a gun and ammunition. The dead have not been publicly identified.
The police department said via Twitter around 12:36 p.m. that the scene is believed to be secure.
A news conference is expected at 1:15 p.m.
Authorities said they received a call to 911 at 11:15 a.m., an hour and 15 minutes after the mall was scheduled to open. It was not immediately clear how many shoppers and retail workers were at the Columbia, Md., shopping center.
One frightened witness who workes at Cartoon Cuts told NBCWashington.com that the sound of gunfire alarmed her. “It sounded like someone dropped something,” she told the NBC site, “and all of a sudden, I see people fall to the ground… I just saw everybody run, so I ran.”
The Howard County Police said that the fire department and police are currently on the scene. The police department announced via Twitter around 1:26 p.m. that two more victims with “minor injuries” that were not directly related to the shooting were transported to a local hospital.
Authorities are asking shoppers to remain where they are until police can clear each area safely.
The mall, located in Howard County, is located between Baltimore and Washington.
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