12 injured in shooting at South Carolina mall; 3 detained

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Ten people were shot and two others injured in a shooting at a shopping mall in South Carolina’s capital that authorities do not believe was a random attack.

Three people who had firearms have been detained in connection with the Saturday afternoon shooting at Columbiana Centre, Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said. He said at least one of those three people fired a weapon.

“We don’t believe this was random,” Holbrook said. “We believe they knew each other and something led to the gunfire.”

Authorities said no fatalities have been reported but that eight of the victims were taken to the hospital. Of those eight, two were in critical condition and six were in stable condition, Holbrook said. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 73, he said.

The mall was being evacuated store-by-store and police urged anyone still sheltering inside to call 911 so that authorities could find them.

Workers from a couple of stores clustered in the mostly empty parking lot Saturday evening said they had not heard or seen anything during the shooting but followed the mall’s alert system and were evacuated by police shortly after. They said they had been waiting hours ever since for police to let them back inside to retrieve their car keys and personal belongings so they could leave. They declined to give their names, citing company policies.

“Today’s isolated, senseless act of violence is extremely upsetting and our thoughts are with everyone impacted,” Columbiana Centre said in a statement. “We are grateful for the quick response and continued support of our security team and our partners in law enforcement.”

The shooting is the latest in a rash of shootings at or near malls across the country.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the head Wednesday outside Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal Mall. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. The NYPD says he was with a group of boys outside the mall when they got into a dispute with a second group of boys.

On Tuesday, a Southern California shoe store owner mistakenly shot a 9-year-old girl while firing at two shoplifters at the Mall of Victor Valley, police said.

And earlier this month, police said six people were killed and 12 others wounded in Sacramento, California, during a gunfight between rival gangs as bars closed in a busy area near the Downtown Commons shopping mall and the state Capitol.

 

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