Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh back open after gunfire sends shoppers running Thursday night

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Crabtree Valley Mall is back open after gunfire on Thursday night during a busy shopping season sent shoppers running.

During a Friday afternoon news conference, Raleigh police said the shooting occurred after a fight broke out between two people on the first floor of the mall's main lobby near the LEGO store. During the fight, one of the suspects opened fire and the other shot back.

"When you have events like this, it's troubling, and it's troubling for all of us. And especially when you put so many people at risk," said Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown.

Authorities responded to reports of shots fired at the mall shortly after 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, 15 minutes before the popular shopping center closes.

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Jamie Thornton said she was at the Gap Kids store when she heard the shooting.



Police believe one of the shooting suspects to be injured after investigators located a blood trail nearby -- no bystanders were injured during the altercation. Investigators also found a total of seven shell casings at the scene.

WATCH: RPD Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown provides details on Crabtree Valley Mall shooting
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"When you have events like this, it's troubling, and it's troubling for all of us. And especially when you put so many people at risk," said Raleigh Police Chief Deck-Brown.



The Raleigh Police Department now asking for the public's assistance in helping with the investigation by contacting Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-4357 or visit raleighcrimestoppers.org for text and email reporting options. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.



Jamie Thornton said she was at the Gap Kids store when she heard the shooting. Thornton said she hid in a back room of the store for about 45 minutes before she was escorted out by a police officer. Thornton took a video of the officer escorting her out of the store with his gun drawn.

"We saw everyone in the mall running past the store and so I ran and hid behind sort of a faux retail wall and she pulled the gate down and then the sales associate ran through the store and told us all to come to the back," Thornton said. "It was definitely scary because you didn't know, was it over? Is there an active shooter there?"

Thornton said she plans to send a gift basket to Gap Kids store employees who helped shoppers stay calm in the uncertainty of the moment.



Sean Ingram, a kiosk owner at the mall, said he heard about eight shots by the Bath and Body Works. Another food court restaurant employee said she "heard a lady, screaming but saw nothing."

"Once it all started happening, the shots were coming towards my kiosk and you could hear them bouncing off the walls," Ingram said. "It's just an unfortunate situation."

CHOPPER 11 flies over Crabtree Valley Mall after reports of shots fired

Sean Ingram, a kiosk owner at the mall, told ABC11 that he heard about eight shots by the Bath and Body Works.



Crabtree Valley Mall officials released this statement in response to Thursday night's incident:

"Thank you to the Raleigh Police Department for their timely response to tonight's incident. The safety and security of our guests, employees, and retailers remain our top priority. We will continue working with the Raleigh Police Department regarding the ongoing investigation."

During the summer, police responded to at least two conflated reports of shots fired, where no shooting ever took place.
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