A manhunt is underway in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after a shooting at a suburban mall left seven adults and a teenager injured.
Police Chief Barry Weber gave no motive for the Mayfair Mall attack in a brief update about three hours after the 2:50 pm incident near the entrance to Macy’s shop.
He said the injury rate of the eight victims was unknown, but all were still alive.
He added that the shooters were “no longer at the scene” when the authorities arrived.
“Initial statements from witnesses indicated that the shooter was a white male in his 20s or 30s,” Weber told reporters.
“Investigators are working to determine the identity of the suspect.”
The head of the mall calls the scene of the active case and asks people to stay away. He said the mall will remain closed until further notice.
Witnesses told WISN-TV they had heard what they believed to be eight to 12 shots.
Several people remained at the mall while the police searched for suspects.
The station interviewed several people outside the mall who said they had friends who took shelter inside the shop while the search was ongoing.
Jill Wooley was inside Macy’s with her 79-year-old mother when they heard eight to 12 gunshots outside the shop entrance.
“We heard the first shot being fired and immediately knew it was a shot,” Wooley told CBS58 in Milwaukee. “We both just fell to the floor.”
Wooley said he didn’t see anyone but the shot was “very close”. He added that they ran in the opposite direction to the basement of the shop, where they later hid.
Trish Cox’s 19-year-old nephew works at the Finish Line sports supply store. She says she’s worried because the shop’s phone isn’t answering and she panics as she waits while FBI agents clean up the mall.
An agent who did not want to be named said the mall was being cleaned “methodically”.
Heavily armed FBI personnel are seen at the mall.
Mall operator Brookfield Properties said in a statement they were “disappointed and angry that our guests and tenants were subjected to violent incidents today.” They declined to comment further.
The Mayfair Mall was the scene of a February shooting in which a city police officer, Joseph Mensah, shot and killed Alvin Cole, a 17-year-old black man.
Police said Cole was running away from police; Mensah, who is also black, admitted to shooting Cole because Cole had a gun pointed at him.
The mall was the target of sporadic protests in the months following the shooting.
Milwaukee County district attorneys refused to press charges against Mensah, but the city this week approved a separation agreement under which Mensah will be paid at least $ 130,000 to leave the police force.