Police search New Jersey mall for shooter, no injuries reported
A person with a gun opened fire on Monday evening in a massive New Jersey shopping mall shortly before closing time, leading police to evacuate the mall and search for the shooter, a county official said. No injuries were reported.
Witnesses said they heard multiple shots seconds apart inside the Garden State Plaza mall in the northern New Jersey town of Paramus, while CNN reported that the shooter had fired at security cameras.
Televised images from outside showed a heavy police presence with dozens of cruisers converging at the mall.
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"Multiple gunshots were heard. We believe it is one shooter. I know there is an active shooter near the Nordstrom area," said Jeanne Baratta, Chief of Staff at Bergen County, where the town is located. She added that a police SWAT team was on site.
The police "believe the gunman is still in the mall," Baratta said. "Right now the Bergen County SWAT team along with the K-9 unit and other law enforcement are going store by store. It's a very large mall with multiple levels."
Jonathan Astacio, a witness who was inside the mall, told CNN he heard several shots: "We heard two loud booms ... Then we heard two more shots and saw people running."
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The mayor of Paramus, Richard LaBarbiera, told reporters that no injuries had yet been reported.
One woman at a store in the mall, who asked Reuters not to disclose what store she was hiding in, reported hearing shots.
"I heard the shooting. We're still stuck in the stock room right now. I personally heard five shots," said the woman. Afraid the shooter may still be free, she said: "I haven't gone out again."