A man with an AR-15-style rifle opened fire inside a Target store in Omaha, prompting terrified shoppers and employees to scramble for safety before he was fatally shot by police Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said the man had "plenty of ammunition" and that evidence suggests he fired multiple rounds, but it was not immediately known if he shot anyone.
Schmaderer said no injuries were found and police searched the store "because there were some people hiding there."
Cathy Mahannah, a customer, said the scene inside the store was "sheer panic."
The 62-year-old woman was near the store's entrance picking up Valentine's Day gifts for her young grandchildren when she heard a bang. She thought something had fallen, then she saw a mass of people running towards the exit.
A shopper told her there was an active shooter and she fled. She heard at least one more shot in the store and a few more when she was outside.
Mahannah was so nervous that she couldn't find her car at first and jumped into a vehicle with a stranger.
“The moments in that parking lot were terrifying when I heard the shots and thought: 'Where am I hiding? I don't know what to do,'” she said.
The police chief said there were multiple 911 calls shortly before noon and that officers arrived at the store within minutes.
“The first arriving officers entered the building, confronted the suspect and shot and killed him,” Schmaderer said, speaking at a news conference about an hour after the shooting. "He had an AR-15 rifle with him and a lot of ammunition."
Target spokesman Brian Harper-Tibaldo said in a statement that all guests and team members were safely evacuated from the store, which would remain closed indefinitely.
Lt. Neal Bonacci, a police spokesman, said officers are trained to quickly enter such scenes to avoid mass casualties.
“We have learned a lot from other jurisdictions, other areas, other cities that have unfortunately experienced this,” he said. “We went right in. We are trained to do it. Whether it's one officer or 10, we go in and neutralize the threat."