Someone was shot and wounded at the Destiny USA mall on Black Friday, setting off a lockdown and escape by frightened shoppers and employees.
Syracuse police found a shooting victim, with wounds in the leg. It is not life-threatening, police say.
The mall has been closed for the rest of the day, police said around 8 p.m. Shoppers and employees were free to leave.
The shot triggered a panic among thousands of shoppers in the crowded mall. Some stores had employees and customers shelter in place. Others fled.
Those who ran out were gathered in the parking lot, some in tears. Traffic was jammed and others were stranded waiting for ride shares or family.
Shoppers should avoid the food court, police said initially.
The mall’s owners, in a statement, said it was a fight “between two known acquaintances.”
A witness near the food court said one person was being beaten by multiple people, then fired shots at his attackers.
A video posted on Facebook shows the apparent shooting victim standing, with bandages on his right leg, and breathing into an oxygen mask, with numerous police standing next to him.
Shoppers reported hearing loud bangs, which police originally thought were fireworks. Then they found the victim.
Police have not made an arrest. A short time after the second wave of people rushed out of the mall, a squad of police officers with long guns entered the mall. A K-9 officer and dogs followed.
Pyramid Management Group, owners of the mall, said the mall will reopen Saturday. It confirmed the lockdown in a release:
“This evening’s unfortunate and isolated incident at Destiny USA was between two known acquaintances and not a random act or part of any intentional threat against the property.
“The altercation resulted in the discharge of a firearm inside our facility and injury to one of the two individuals.
“Law enforcement officials and Destiny USA personnel were already onsite at the time of the incident inside the facility, and along with our tenants, immediately engaged in a comprehensive, routinely practiced and programmed response to address the incident.
“As such, Destiny USA immediately went into lockdown. At this time, no arrest has been made, but law enforcement officials are confident the suspect has vacated the property. As such, the facility is no longer in lockdown, and all guests and tenants will be allowed to vacate the property.
“Destiny USA will be closing for the evening and reopening in the morning while we work closely with law enforcement officials in the full investigation of this incident.”