12 injured in shooting at South Carolina mall
At least 12 people have been injured – ten of them by bullet impact – during a shooting at a shopping center in Columbia, South Carolina, after which the Police have made three arrests.
As reported by the Columbia Police Department, an isolated conflict between several armed suspects on the premises of a shopping center in the area led last night to a shooting for which three suspects have been arrested. “We believe that the people who were armed knew each other and there was some kind of conflict that resulted in shooting… This was not a situation where a random person appeared in a shopping center to fire a firearm and hurt people,” said Columbia Police Chief William Holbrook.
Eight of the injured – aged between 15 and 73 – have been discharged from hospital and two others are in critical but stable condition, as explained by the private health company Prisma Health in statements to CNN.
Two other people who escaped the shooting have suffered injuries from the stampede caused by the incident, according to Holbrook.
Daniel Johnson, a direct witness to what happened, told the AP agency that both he and his family – visiting from Alabama – heard the shots from the restaurant area and began to see people running desperately and knocking over several tables during the stampede. “Everyone was desperately trying to get out,” Johnson said.
Officers set up a security cordon at a nearby hotel. Workers from a couple of stores stood huddled in the nearly empty parking lot waiting for police to let them in to retrieve their personal belongings so they could return home.
“Today’s isolated and senseless act of violence is extremely disturbing and our thoughts are with all those affected,” the Columbiana Center said in a statement.
Columbia Police have set up a witness hotline and have asked anyone with video of the shooting to contact them. “We know that many people saw different things. Please take a moment, collect your thoughts and contact the Police,” the Columbia Police Department explained on Twitter.