Official Durham police officers worked Friday afternoon in the streets at Southpoint Mall, heard gunshots coming from the mall, and called for a backup, Durham police chief Patrice Andrews said..
Responding officers found three people were shot in an incident between two groups of people who know each other, Andrew said.
Among the shot was a 10-year-old child who was hit by a ricochet bullet, according to Andrew. This child was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, she said.
“Shooting in the city has to stop, it has to stop,” the police chief said.
According to Andrews, most of those involved in the shooting fled after the incident but one person was arrested, one weapon was returned, and police interviewed witnesses.
Three people were injured when the mall, filled with Black Friday shoppers, was evacuated after the incident, according to Andrews.
“There is no threat in the mall,” they said.
Before they fled the scene, two eyewitnesses at the mall told CNN that they had heard multiple shots. Darian Harrington told CNN that he had his boots cleaned near Victoria’s Secret at the mall.
“I suddenly saw people running, and I thought nothing, so I froze,” he said.
Then, he says he heard multiple guns very close by.
“I immediately went to the first exit I could find,” he said. “I’m just starting to see people bolts out of every direction.”
Hadley Connell told CNN that she also heard how many shots were fired while she and her fiance were sitting in the dining room on the second floor.
“The gun sounds were followed by what sounded like a wave of rain on a tin roof when everyone started screaming, running and pushing each other,” Connell said.
“We ran to the mall bathrooms near the food court as people were stampeded, and some security guards began to realize what was happening,” she said. “The security led us into an employee corridor and stairs as they tried to help the elderly and people with children get out of the building. We then ran to the other side of the mall complex parking lot, and we were stuck in our Parking lot. Place where everyone is trying to evacuate. “
Aerial video from WRAL showed a parking lot almost full of vehicles from shoppers in the mall, which was seen as one of the busiest shopping days of the year.