Police seek public's help finding man who fired gun in mall

People are evacuated after reports of shots fired at the Galleria at Crystal Run, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Middletown, N.Y. (Allyse Pulliam/Times Herald-Record via AP)

Police are asking the public for help finding a man who fired a gun in a mall crowded with holiday shoppers

WALLKILL, N.Y. — Police on Monday asked the public for help finding a man who fired a gun in a mall crowded with holiday shoppers.

Wallkill police Chief Robert Hertman described the man as white or Hispanic and about 6-foot-2, with dark hair, a beard and a mustache. The man was wearing a dark jacket and khaki pants and was with a woman, a young child and an infant. The woman is described as having blonde hair and wearing a dark jacket and maroon pants.

At a news conference Monday, Hertman said it's unknown if the Sunday afternoon shooting at the Galleria at Crystal Run in the Orange County town of Wallkill was intentional or was an accident.

Hertman said a woman and her 12-year-old son suffered minor injuries to their lower extremities but he didn't know if they were hit by the gunshot.

A round from a handgun was fired outside an American Eagle clothing store in the mall, 60 miles (96 kilometers) northwest of New York City.

The shooting occurred on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. By midday Sunday throngs of shoppers were filling the mall, home to more than 100 tenants, including Macy's, J.C. Penney and Target. The loud bang from the gunfire sent shoppers scurrying for safety, either by exiting the mall or by hiding in back rooms with store employees.

"We went into full lockdown," Aaron Etienne, an employee of Trak 23 Clothing Co., told the Times Herald-Record of Middletown. "We slammed the gates shut. I saw police officers with guns and K-9s walking by."

Police conducted store-by-store searches and escorted people out of the mall. Etienne said he and four other people huddled in a storeroom for about an hour until a police officer led them to the parking lot.

Hertman said it's legal for a person with a permit to take a gun into a mall, although the Galleria's website said the property has a policy prohibiting weapons.

When it appeared there was some type of threat, security personnel at H&M shut the gates on the two-story retailer and sent workers to a storeroom, part of the active-shooter drill the employees had practiced.

"With everything going on in the world, you have to be prepared," employee Aiyana Raiz said.

Related News

Hawaii authorities urge awareness of raw food risk

Aug 17, 2016

Hawaii authorities are urging diners to be aware of the risks of eating raw and undercooked food after they traced a hepatitis A outbreak to frozen scallops served raw at a sushi restaurant chain

Are France's burkini bans sexist, or liberating?

Aug 17, 2016

Male officials are dictating what women can wear on French beaches _ and people across a wide swath of French society say that's a good thing

Target cuts outlook as it sees fewer customers in stores

Aug 17, 2016

Target cut its profit forecast and a key sales outlook amid stiffer competition and its own stumbles in areas like groceries

Broaden News

Travel Stylo is an independent online travel website started by a group of friends who love traveling together. With Travel Stylo, you can travel with style.

Contact us: sales@travelstylo.com