NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) – A suspect was taken into custody Saturday after shots were fired at a Southern California shopping center, forcing a lockdown of stores, police said.
No injuries were reported but the gunfire and the lockdown caused alarm, coming just a day after a gunman killed 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school, and days after a deadly mall shooting in Oregon.
The shots on Saturday were fired in the vicinity of a Macy’s department store at the open-air Fashion Island mall in Orange County, police Sgt. William Depweg said.
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday evening that Kathy Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department, said the shots around 4:30 p.m. were fired in the parking lot near Macy’s.
Officers searched the California mall but have not found anyone who may have been injured, Depweg said. No further details were immediately available.
Bret McGaughey, 22, of Laguna Beach, said he was with his mom in the Apple store at the upscale mall when shoppers ran to the rear of the store as employees locked the front entrance. He estimated that up to 100 people stayed in the back of the store for about 30 minutes until Apple employees announced that police said it was safe to reopen the doors.
The mall was crowded with holiday shoppers.
“This is a pretty ritzy suburb in Orange County,” McGaughey said. “It’s certainly something you wouldn’t expect here.”
On Tuesday, a gunman at an Oregon shopping mall killed two people and wounded a third amid a holiday crowd estimated at 10,000 people.
Clackamas County authorities are still trying to determine why the gunman opened fire before killing himself.
The suburban Portland mall was closed for two days before reopening on Friday.
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