Police near Milwaukee say the suspected gunman who sparked chaos at the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa on Friday afternoon is still at large after leaving at least eight people wounded.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said in an evening press conference that eight people had been injured and taken to nearby hospitals, one of them a teenager.
SWAT teams, state police, officers from multiple nearby sheriff’s offices, and the FBI also responded to the incident, about which there seem to be far more questions than answers at this point. Weber said police had not ascertained the motive for the shooting that happened just after 3 p.m., sending mall employees and shoppers scrambling to hide.
But investigators do believe the shooting was “not a random act, and was the result of an altercation,” the Wauwatosa Police Department said in a statement late Friday.
One witness, who was locked down in a store while police swept the mall, said she’d been told the shooter was still at large inside the shopping center more than two hours after the incident. But after police completed their sweep, Weber announced that the shooter, whom police believe to be a white male in his 20s or 30s, was “no longer at the scene.”
Local station WISN 12 News interviewed witnesses who said they heard between eight and 12 shots in the vicinity of an Eddie Bauer store and a Macy’s.
Other witnesses said they saw multiple people injured and TV stations filmed five people being loaded into ambulances. All appeared to be alert.
A woman who worked in the mall’s food court told WISN 12 she heard more than 10 shots in quick succession.
“I know the shooter’s still in the mall so we’re still locked down,” she said.
She said she was ushered into a store and was hiding out with five other staff members.
Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride confirmed in a statement to ABC News that the shooter was at large.
Multiple injured victims were transported from the north end of the Macy’s department store, he said. None of the victims’ injuries appeared to be life-threatening.
At least 75 cops were on the scene, McBride said.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a statement in the wake of the shooting, expressing gratitude to first responders and “support for the entire Wauwatosa community as they grapple with this tragedy.”
The city is slated to host a “MAGA Freedom Rally” on Saturday featuring the outspoken Trump supporter former sheriff David Clarke, according to ticketing website Eventbrite. The mall disavowed any association with the rally via its Facebook page, asserting that “all political activity, rallies, and protests are strictly prohibited.”
Owners of the mall released a statement saying they were “disheartened and angered” that shoppers and employees “were subject to this violent incident today.”