CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Northlake Mall was evacuated Saturday afternoon after a shot was fired, according to police.
A large police presence could be seen outside the mall at around 4 p.m.
Officials said they found “evidence of a shooting,” but did not find anyone who was shot.
“We heard the shot and then we saw all the people run towards us from the Apple Store, so we all were running in different directions,” shopper Raykeyla Sanders said.
Police confirmed that only one shot was fired, and there was no warning.
“And then I heard a boom and I was like, ‘What was that?’” employee Kamdynn Patton said. “And then someone was like, ‘There’s a shooting, there’s a shooting,’ and I said, ‘Everybody get down, calm down, come in the back.’”
According to officers, there was no sign of a fight or argument, and it’s not clear if the gunman was trying to hit anyone.
Officials said the incident happened near the back side of the mall, close to Belk.
“We don’t know at this time, were still investigating that. What we do know, there was one shot that was fired and that shot did hit one of the businesses in the area,” CMPD Deputy Chief Estella Patterson said.
MEDIC confirmed several people were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries from falling during the evacuation.
Police are still trying to find the gunman, but investigators said they recognized him.
Off-duty CMPD officers were working private security when the incident happened, and so the response was very fast, officials said.
Some business owners are worried about the reputation of the mall being hurt by incidents like this.
“There are a lot of Black business owners in the mall. People don’t think about how their actions affect not only our businesses and community at the same time. If you are going to come to Northlake with this, please take it somewhere else,” barber shop owner Elliot Riley said.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back wsoctv.com for updates.