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Man injured trying to jump to safety during Crabtree panic

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Andre Chambers has a broken cheek bone, wrist, and rib and also got 12 stitches in his jaw (WTVD)

ABC11 sat down with a man who was injured after he tried to jump to safety but misjudged the distance while fleeing Crabtree Valley Mall during the chaos on Saturday.


Police responded to the mall around 2:30 p.m. after reports of shots fired. Eyewitnesses told ABC11 they heard a loud 'bang' or the sound of gunfire which caused a mass exit of people. Mall officials said over 10,000 people were at Crabtree. The mall was placed on lockdown.

Andre Chambers, his fiancé, and their 1-year-old son were eating at the Cheesecake Factory and heard the loud bang. He said he didn't think much of it immediately, but panicked shoppers soon began running in the restaurant.

"When people came running in saying, 'The shooter is coming this way, he's coming this way!' That's when the whole restaurant took off," Chambers recalled.

He and his family ran out to the parking deck toward Glenwood Avenue. The road was busy but he wanted to get out of sight quickly so he decided to try to jump onto grass on the other side of the rail instead of heading down the ramp.

From his perspective, he said it looked like the grass was just on the other side. When he realized it wasn't, it was too late.

"As soon as I leaped over I was like, 'Oh, wow!'" said Chambers. "I tried to grab the railing and I slipped. I said, 'Oh, no I can't' And I couldn't hold it no more."

READ MORE: In midst of mall chaos, some human goodness emerged

When he hit the ground, Chambers said he immediately jumped up and made sure his fiancé and son didn't jump as well. They did not, and he said a man who helped him went and got his family to bring them down.

Chambers sustained a broken cheek bone, wrist, and rib and also got 12 stitches in his jaw.

"My heart was broken just seeing him like that," his fiancé, Sabrina Broussard, said. "His face was completely cut open."

Chambers has to have surgery. He just started a new job and doesn't have health insurance. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.

Raleigh police said they have not found any evidence of gunshots or a gunman, and no one is in custody. They have not given an explanation of what the reported loud sounds were that eyewitnesses heard.

Police said they are reviewing 911 calls but have not released them yet. No surveillance footage has been released.

Broussard said he can't understand why someone would shout that there's a shooter if there's no evidence of one.

READ MORE: Workers, eyewitnesses skeptical of police findings at Crabtree
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