Gunman Opens Fire in New Jersey Mall Before Disappearing

Jenny Erikson This Just In

Update: According to CBS, authorities say suspect, Richard Shoop, 20, was found dead behind a construction storage area of the mall.

On Monday night, an unknown shooter opened fire in a New Jersey mall and then vanished. According to witnesses, the gunman was dressed in all black and a helmet, and was armed with a rifle.

Police say that “several shots” were fired inside around 9:19 p.m., but Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera said only one shell casing was removed from the Garden State Plaza Mall, which remained on lockdown Monday night.

Thankfully there have been no reported casualties or injuries, but there is that scary issue of a potentially unhinged gunman on the loose. Police combed the mall but did not recover a weapon.

Talbots employee Clarice Forbes said she saw the gunman walking past her store, waving his rifle in the air. “When he walked past our store, he looked directly in the store and strolled past,” Forbes said. “It was very, very terrifying ... there were so many thoughts going through my head. I was so scared."

Another anonymous male shopper said, "He was fully armored head to toe, like he planned this. Like it's not like a random thing ... I'm fine, but this is crazy."

More than 200 policemen swarmed the scene after the shots were reported fired and will likely be working late into the night to try and find the escaped shooter.

Officials say the mall, which houses upwards of 200 stores and 50 restaurants, will be closed Tuesday.

How would you react in such a scary situation?


Image via Kramchang/Flickr

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