Police reported Saturday afternoon that 12 people were hurt in a shooting at a South Carolina shopping mall, including 10 people who were shot and two more who were injured in a “stampede.”
Shots were fired at the Columbiana Centre mall, roughly 10 miles from downtown Columbia, according to police in Columbia, South Carolina’s capital city.
Chief W. H. Holbrook revealed at a press conference that the gunshot victims ranged in age from 15 to 73. According to Holbrook, two of the people who were shot were in critical condition on Saturday. He went on to say that no fatalities had been reported.
According to Holbrook, three persons were detained as “people of interest” on Saturday afternoon.
He said all three were observed with guns at the mall, and at least one of them is suspected of firing a weapon.
According to Holbrook, the three armed individuals knew each other, and bullets were fired during an incident.
“We don’t believe this was random,” Holbrook said. “This was not a situation where we had some random person show up to the mall to discharge a firearm and injure people.”
Holbrook said police were continuing to evacuate people from the mall, where employees and customers sheltered inside stores after officers did an initial sweep to find anyone injured.
“Today’s isolated, senseless act of violence is extremely upsetting and our thoughts are with everyone impacted. We are grateful for the quick response and continued support of our security team and our partners in law enforcement,” the Columbiana Centre said in a statement.
In a tweet, police asked employees to continue sheltering in place inside the mall until officers could escort them out: “DO NOT leave a store until told to do so by proper authorities.”
A reunification site has been set up at a nearby hotel, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.