TORRANCE, Calif. – One person was shot Monday afternoon inside one of the nation’s largest malls, prompting a lockdown of the Southern California shopping center and a massive police response as dozens fled.
Police believe the attacker fled the sprawling Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, south of Los Angeles. Officers found one person with a gunshot wound inside the mall and don’t believe there are additional victims.
“As of now, it does appear to be an isolated incident,” Torrance Police Sgt. Ron Harris said at a press briefing outside the mall.
TV footage and social media posts show shoppers and employees evacuating as officers in SWAT vehicles arrived, while others were forced to lock down inside and wait for a police escort to leave.
Videos taken by people inside the mall and broadcast on TV show a group gathered around the presumed victim, with blood on the floor. Other videos show first responders taking the victim through the mall on a stretcher.
The victim is expected to recover but his or her condition was not immediately available, Harris said. He did not have an exact location of where the shooting occurred.
Police were “methodically” searching the mall Monday evening, Harris said. Authorities were also speaking to witnesses and “scouring” video.
Officers responded to the mall following reports of shots fired, police said.
The suspect was described as having a shaved head and wearing a black shirt and checkered shorts.
The incident prompted the lockdown of a nearby middle school.
The mall has more than 250 stores. A spokeswoman for the mall’s owner, the Simon Property Group, did not immediately have a comment.
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