Suspect at large after Indy mall shooting leaves 3 hurt

Police respond to Washington Square Mall after a shooting Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (WISH Photo)

 

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three people were shot inside Washington Square Mall Wednesday evening, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Two men and one woman were wounded and are in stable condition, as of late Wednesday, according to police.

IMPD says the suspect fled the mall and is still on the loose.

Police said the incident began with an argument between two people who knew each other.

The shooter was reportedly targeting a male victim, and the two other victims are believed to have been innocent bystanders.

IMPD Deputy Chief Brian Mahone would not comment on what kind of gun was used. But he did confirm that “it was not a long rifle.”

Shots were fired inside the mall around 6:30 p.m., according to police. Police did not release a description of the suspect.

The Washington Square Mall is located on the far-east side of Indianapolis.

WISH-TV spoke to Jacob Laffey, who says he was inside Target when he heard shooting. He says he heard 10 or 11 shots and saw people running.

Target is connected to the mall.

Target employee Erika Thomas says she was at the back of the store at the time of the shooting. She did not hear gunshots, but she assisted a customer who fell and twisted her ankle.

Thomas says customers inside were checked out and the store was then closed.

When asked about police response, Mahone said agencies reacted appropriately.

“We are pleased with the response we got from everybody,” he said. “Our law enforcement partners, Marion County Sheriff’s Department was here, we got Cumberland police here, we have the mall security here and our (IMPD) response here.”

The property manager for the mall released this statement:

We can confirm that a shooting occurred this evening at the Washington Square mall. The mall’s security staff and Indianapolis Police Department responded quickly. The mall is cooperating fully with the police’s investigation.

The safety of our shoppers and employees is our top priority. As part of our commitment to promoting a safe shopping environment, we maintain a highly-trained staff that is prepared to respond to a variety of emergency situations. We take numerous proactive measures and coordinate very closely with local officials as a best practice.

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time.

Early Thursday morning, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department shared some helpful information for families to consider in the event of an emergency in public places, whether they be weather-related emergencies, power outage, fire, or criminal activity threats. Things to consider include:

  • If an event does occur, maintain physical contact with each other, either by taking a hand or grabbing the waistline, belt or pocket of the nearest loved one. Move with purpose as a group. This will help prevent being separated from loved ones during a crisis.
  • Many families with teenage or older family members typically separate when at a mall or other shopping area. Designate a primary and secondary rendezvous location should an emergency occur. It’s important to have a backup plan in case the primary location is not accessible during the emergency.
  • Develop and practice awareness of all avenues of ingress and egress in a public place, including those not typically used by the public. Emergency exits and those usually used by employees only can be the best avenue of escape during an emergency.
  • Keep in mind that during many emergencies, cellular phone service may be overwhelmed. Having these contingency plans already considered can be very helpful to families during an emergency.

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