Two people were wounded, including a 12-year-old bystander, after Black Friday took a dark turn at an Alabama mall, when police shot and killed a man who opened fire on shoppers after an argument Thursday night.
Shots reportedly broke out at 9:52 p.m. outside the entrance of a Foot Action store in the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, Alabama, after a fight broke out between two men, according to a statement issued by Hoover Police.
During the altercation, a 21-year-old man reportedly took out a handgun and shot an 18-year-old man twice in the torso.
Hearing the shots ring out, two uniformed officers with the Hoover Police who had already been providing security at the mall ran to the scene. One of the officers encountered the suspect "brandishing a pistol" and shot him, according to the statement.
The man, who has not yet been identified by authorities, died at the scene.
A 12-year-old girl, who was described by police as an "innocent bystander," was also wounded in the exchange. She was transported to Children's Hospital and is listed in stable condition.
The 18-year-old victim, meanwhile, was taken the UAB Hospital and was in serious condition, police said.
Hoover Police Department Capt. Gregg Rector said the teenaged victim was "alert" and "talking" before going into surgery, according to a WBRC.
The incident sparked chaos for shoppers who had gathered at the crowded mall, causing them to flee the location rather than buy gifts for loved ones.
"It was terrifying," Lexi Joiner, who was at the mall shopping with her mother told AL.com.
She said she hid in a supply closet along with other patrons after hearing gunfire.
The mall reopened at 6 a.m. on Friday, WBRC reports. Afterward, police discovered a discarded gun at one of the mall’s holiday attractions, and are investigating where it came from.
Rector said police had already increased its presence at the shopping center in preparation for the increased number of holiday shoppers.
"We were fortunate to have two officers who were very near an active shooting scene," he said.
Police believe the officer who shot and killed the suspect likely prevented further injuries.
[Photo Credit: Associated Press]
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