Questions remain after weekend chaos at Crabtree, shoppers still shaken

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Monday, August 15, 2016
Questions remain after weekend chaos at Crabtree
Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- People caught up in the mad dash to get out of Crabtree Valley Mall left all sorts of things behind like shopping purchases and purses. All of it paled in comparison to their safety while they thought they were in danger.

Raleigh police responded to reports of a shooting around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The mall was put on lockdown and some people were forced to flee while others stayed inside stores. An excess of 10,000 people were inside the mall at the time of the incident, according to Crabtree officials.


On Monday, ABC11 spoke with a Fayetteville man who was at Crabtree on Saturday and said he saw a man with a gun.

Investigators have interviewed him. He said they told him that the gunman he and others saw was a man with a conceal-carry permit who pulled his weapon after hearing the noises.

It appeared police may have found the man with a gun and talked to him.

On Sunday, Crabtree reopened and shoppers were able to go retrieve their left-behind items. Several personal items were still reportedly at the mall Monday.

Shana Valentine spoke to ABC11 about her experience as she went to get her daughter's back-to-school shoes.

PHOTOS: Crabtree Valley Mall after reports of shots fired

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Pictures from the scene at Crabtree Valley Mall after reports of shots fired
Eyewitness photo

"I just heard people screaming and running. I just got down- like what am I supp-," she recalled. "Like eyes wide open, what is going on?"

Separated from her husband, she ditched the shopping bags and grabbed her two girls, following employees into the Disney Store.

"They rushed us to get to the back of the store. We had to get down in the floor," Valentine said.

Soon after she said she found her husband outside. The family crouched behind parked cars.

Some eyewitnesses reported a loud bang, while others said they heard multiple gunshots.

WATCH: Loud 'bang' captured on video

A loud bang was captured on video from the mall

Matt Woods and his family said they heard the bang outside the Cinnabon store.

"Several pops, maybe gunfire, I couldn't tell," Woods said. "And then everyone just came; it was a wave of humanity running towards the exit and we just thought, grab the kids and run."

He described those moments as scary as he tried to keep his family together. He also returned to collect items from the mall and said he was still a bit shaken up after the incident.

"To be honest, no one slept very well last night," he told ABC11.

He said he's just thankful his family is OK.

Raleigh police said they still have no evidence of a gunshot and they cannot find an explanation for the loud bang noise heard by multiple eyewitnesses. Officials said all known witnesses had been interviewed.

Police and EMS officials said 8 people with ages ranging from 10 - 70 were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries related to crowds fleeing the mall. No gunshot wounds were reported.

WATCH: Eyewitnesses recall scene outside Crabtree Valley Mall during lockdown

Wanda Beckwith described the heavy police presence as officers responded to the situation

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