Editor’s note, Sunday, 6:30 a.m.: I updated the headline of this post to reflect Raleigh police’s uncertainty about whether there was in fact a shooting, despite multiple witness accounts and several 911 calls.
Saturday, 3 p.m.:
Journalist Kenneth Fine, who is on the scene at the Crabtree Mall, has been told by a Raleigh police officer that there is an active shooter on scene. Per his reports, which he is relaying via text message:
INDY reporter Lauren Horsch, meanwhile, reports that the police scanner “just said there are injuries inside the mall. Not sure how severe yet.”
Here‘s video from Twitter.
From Fine: “I just spoke with a Raleigh police officer who is holding a very large semiautomatic gun. He said, ‘There are still people hiding in closets. We’re trying to evacuate everyone as quickly and safely as we can. As of right now we haven’t heard of any casualties. But take a deep breath and keep your fingers crossed, because that’s what we’re going to do.”
Update from Lauren from the police scanner:
From Fine, who took some video we are working to embed now:
From The News & Observer:
From reporter Paul Blest, now at Crabtree: “I’ve heard from four people that it started around 2:45.”
From a witness named Adrian Tuscan: “There was a gunshot by the kiosk in front of the Teavana. Everybody started running so there was a big stampede. People started jumping in the river.”
From Kenneth Fine: Highway patrolman believes they have the shooter in custody, but there might be more, so they’re going to “search every inch of this mall.” Police believe there are multiple injuries but they don’t believe anyone has been killed. “There are still people hiding in closets, under desks, and all over this mall, and we might not be able to get them all out until the end of the night.”
Just in from RPD, which seems to contradict what the highway patrolman told us:
From Paul Blest: “I just talked to someone who said an officer told them they had someone in custody.”
It seems either the cops on scene have wrong info, or all the information hasn’t gotten back to RPD’s press office. Or, they might not want to let word out if there are other people of interest.
From Fine: “Just talked to a Charlotte Russe employee who is crying. She said, ‘He was everywhere. He just kept shooting. My God, he was everywhere.’”
Also, there is a guy in the parking lot in camo and a bulletproof vest and boots who apparently just locked and loaded a gun. Fine:
If that proves correct, Raleigh should thank its lucky stars tonight. Possible there were injuries from the stampede to get out.
More from Paul:
“Everyone is just waiting on more info. They’re still getting everyone out. I talked to two White House Black Market employees who said that they were in lockdown for an hour and a half, I think other folks are still in lockdown.”
My sense, both from what our reporters have heard and what RPD has said, is that there were injuries but so far no gunshot victims, which leads me to believe those injured were hurt in the rush to get out. But that is just an assumption, so grain of salt.
From Paul: “I’m watching someone get locked into an ambulance right now. Not sure what kind of injury.”
Lauren says the police scanner has calmed down.
This just posted on Instagram:
Update, 5:59: If you head to our Facebook page, you can watch the press conference live. Here are some of what RPD told us:
Police say they have no one in custody. No one hit by gunshot. Investigation is ongoing.
“Are you looking for multiple suspects?”
“We don’t know at this time.”
“Until we can render everything safe,” no one goes into the mall.
“Possibility it may be a firecracker?” reporter asks. Police say they are looking at all possibilities.
EMS says eight people transported, no injuries life threatening, all from the chaos after the incident. Injuries mostly having to do with a fall—leg and limb, no penetrating injuries.
Update, Sunday, 6:30 a.m.: The N&O’s story this morning doesn’t tell us much more than we already knew.
Terrified shoppers fled and took cover in stores after they reported hearing gunshots ring out at Crabtree Valley Mall on a busy Saturday afternoon.
The mall was locked down after shots were reportedly fired near the food court about 2:30 p.m., police said.
No one with gunshot wounds had been located, police said, nor had any suspects been arrested.
Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, speaking at a 6 p.m. news conference near the mall, said eight people were transported for treatment of minor injuries suffered in the chaotic rush to leave the building.
Deck-Brown said even though there were a number of 911 calls with reports of multiple gunshots fired, investigators had not found shell casings near the Lush cosmetics store where the shooting reportedly happened.
“We haven’t determined there was a shooter at this point,” she said.
Antonio Richardson, owner of the Casanova clothing store in the mall, told the Associated Press he saw two men arguing in the food court before he heard as many as four shots.
Richardson said he was standing at the entrance to his store when he saw the men, who appeared to be in their early 20s. He said one of them pulled out a gun and began shooting.
In an email blast at 10:26 p.m. last night, the RPD announced that its “active work” at the scene had concluded; “however, investigative follow-up remains under way. There still continues to be no indication that there were any gunshot victims.”
So we have a situation in which multiple witnesses—and several 911 callers—misunderstood what they were seeing and hearing, or a case in which a gunman opened fire in a crowded mall but hit no one and left no shell casings.