Monday, November 4, 2013

New Jersey mall in lockdown after gunman opens fire

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Gunman sought in US mall

RAW VISION: US police are searching for a gunman inside the Garden State Plaza Mall in New Jersey.

PT1M43S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2wyww 620 349 November 5, 2013 - 4:37PM

Paramus, New Jersey: Hundreds of police officers have converged on a mall in northern New Jersey after witnesses said multiple shots were fired there.

NorthJersey.com reported that witnesses said a man dressed in black and wearing a black helmet fired up to five shots at the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, New Jersey, shortly after 9pm before the mall closed.

Chief of Staff at Bergen County, Jeanne Baratta, told Reuters: "Multiple gunshots were heard. We believe it is one shooter. I know there is an active shooter near the Nordstrom area. The mall is being evacuated."

Police secure the area after reports that a gunman fired shots at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey.

Police secure the area after reports that a gunman fired shots at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey. Photo: Reuters

A witness told NorthJersey.com, owner of The Record newspaper - that the gunman was "strutting by" in all black and talking to himself as he fired at least five shots.

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Althea Brown, 26, told NorthJersey.com she heard three shots, then two more. The man appeared to be wearing body armour, and had the visor of his helmet pulled up as he walked, she said.

Jonathan Astacio, a witness who was inside the mall, told CNN he heard several shots.

"We heard two loud booms ... Then we heard two more shots and saw people running ... After that there were no more gunshots."

Mall patron Paul Erlandson told CNN he had been outside the mall since 9pm local time.

"I was in the process of walking through the front doors actually as a huge crowd of people were basically running towards me ... I never actually made it into the mall."

Detective Rachel Morgan, of the Paramus Police Department, would not comment on whether shots had been fired inside the mall.

She said several hundred officers were at the scene. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Jessica Stigliano, 21, of Richfield, New Jersey, told the Associated Press that she was sitting in the mall's food court when she saw people running and yelling ''Shots were fired.''

Ms Stigliano said she also began running. She said at the time she was thinking, ''Not many people run for their life, but that's what I'm doing right now.''

She did not see a shooter.

''It was scary to think that you could be that close to something like that,'' she said.

A manager at the Chili's restaurant at Garden State Plaza told the Associated Press they were in lockdown and could not leave.

She said a manager at the Nordstrom department store ran over to use the phone saying there had been a shooting. She did not say if the Nordstrom manager saw it.

Several frightened customers sent tweets saying they were escorted from the mall by armed police.

One woman wrote that she ran from the mall ''screaming''.

The mall is in Bergen County, about 35 kilometres southwest of Manhattan.

More to come...

Reuters, AP


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