KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A young man and woman were wounded Saturday in a shooting that locked down a suburban Kansas City mall and sent panicked shoppers running for cover.
Independence police spokesman Tom Gentry said two young men have been identified as persons of interest in the afternoon shooting at Independence Center. He said the two men had an altercation with the victims while going through a doorway and the shooting happened when the two pairs met up later.
Gentry said the victims were taken to a hospital with wounds that weren’t considered life-threatening.
“Everything is fine, everything is secure” at the mall, Gentry told The Associated Press. “No one else is in a position to be harmed.”
The mall, located about 10 miles east of Kansas City near Interstate 70, was locked down after the shooting and closed early. Mall officials did not immediately return a phone call to the AP for comment.
Police were interviewing a dozen or more witnesses. Gentry didn’t know whether they were talking to the two persons of interest.
He said he didn’t know where the shooting happened in the mall. But television station KMBC reported that the shooting happened just outside of the Sears store.
Police Capt. John Cato told the station that two people entering the store got into an argument. “That verbal altercation progressed into a physical altercation and eventually shots were fired,” he said.
People left strollers behind in the parking lot because they were in such a rush to leave the mall, KSHB-TV reported.
“We just heard, `Pop, pop, pop,’ and I literally just started screaming to my boss, `Run! There was gunshots.’ And we just, we grabbed our stuff, shut the alarm on and just took off running,” Andrew Boyce told KMBC. “I mean there were probably a couple of hundred people running toward the southeast exit.”
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