Police investigating report of shooting inside North Carolina mall

RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 13 (UPI) — Police in North Carolina are investigating a report of shots fired inside a shopping mall after social media posts showed people rushing toward the exits in a panic.

Police in Raleigh, N.C., said no one was shot in the incident, which was reported around 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Crabtree Valley Mall, which is located in an upscale neighborhood in the city. Multiple witnesses told local media they heard gunshots ring out in the mall’s food court.

Police said their immediate reaction was to place the mall on lockdown and prevent anyone from entering or leaving. Eventually shoppers who had taken cover in stores were allowed to begin leaving around 3 p.m.

Police said no arrests have been made.

While no one was hit by a bullet, police said an unknown number of people were hurt when they were trampled by the stampede of shoppers rushing toward the exit.

Roads surrounding the shopping center and a nearby highway exit leading to it have been closed to traffic and helicopter footage from WTVD-TV, the ABC affiliate in the area, showed a heavy law enforcement presence outside.

One witness said he was 10 or 15 feet from the incident and told WTVD he heard five or six shots and saw a man brandish a handgun. A store owner near where the incident took place said he saw two men arguing in the food court, then one man pull out a gun. The other man fled and the shooter gave chase.

Police have not confirmed either witness report.

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