Tragic incidents of gunfire marred Christmas Eve for shoppers in US malls, as shootings unfolded in two separate locations, claiming one life and injuring multiple individuals, according to authorities.
In Colorado’s Citadel Mall, chaos ensued after a fight escalated between two groups, culminating in gunshots that left one man dead and three others wounded. The Colorado Springs Police Department responded to the distress call around 4:30 PM local time. One man was found deceased on-site, while two others sustained serious gunshot wounds and were rushed to nearby hospitals. Additionally, a woman with minor injuries was also taken to a hospital.
Law enforcement sources reported that several individuals have been apprehended in connection with the incident. The mall was promptly evacuated and closed, with authorities affirming no immediate threat to the community.
Simultaneously, a separate shooting incident unfolded at the Paddock Mall in Ocala, Florida, where a man lost his life, and a woman sustained a gunshot wound to her leg. Initial reports indicated an “active shooter scenario” after multiple shots were reported inside the mall, prompting a robust police response.
However, Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken later clarified that the situation was not an active shooter scenario but characterized it as a targeted act of violence. The deceased man was found within the mall premises, while the injured woman received medical treatment.
Eyewitness accounts from the Citadel Mall shooting described a harrowing scene, with 18-year-old Syriah Williams recounting a sequence of gunfire that triggered chaos among shoppers. Employees ushered people to safety through back exits, guiding them through storage areas to ensure their evacuation.
These unsettling incidents disrupted what was supposed to be a festive shopping atmosphere, leaving bystanders shaken and highlighting the urgent need for enhanced safety measures in public spaces, especially during holiday gatherings.
Authorities are actively investigating both incidents, aiming to ascertain the motives behind the violence while working to reassure communities and shoppers amid this distressing turn of events on Christmas Eve.
Sources By Agencies