Shooting at the mall in Wisconsin leaves eight wounded;
A gunman opened fire Friday afternoon at Mayfair mall, injuring seven adults and one juvenile, officials said.
In his 20s or 30s, Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said at a news conference that the gunman was a white male. Investigators work to ascertain the suspect's identification and said nothing about what could have caused the shooting.
"When emergency personnel arrived, the shooter was no longer at the scene," Weber said. Asked if the gunman was already in the mall, the chief said, "We don't know that."
The extent of the victims' injuries is not clear, but Weber said that I'm aware of."
After 3 p.m., Froedtert Hospital and Children's Wisconsin is told of a shooting at Mayfair mall. And all hospital emergency units were trained to treat patients, a spokesperson said.
The shooting at 2:50 p.m. Northwest entrance, near Macy's. Hours later, officers stopped clearing the mall and designating At Home Store, 3201 N. Mayfair Path, a reunification area for those within the mall.
Witnesses confirmed hearing several gunshots about 3 p.m. Which sent people running to exits or other places where they could safely shelter. Reporters on the scene and tv helicopters shot footage of at least four patients loaded into parking lot ambulances.
About 40 patrol cars and 100 state and federal law enforcement officers and agents—some in protective clothing and carrying shields—were seen outside the mall Friday night.
"We ask members of the public to remain away from the area, and be patient so that our law enforcement personnel may secure the scene and investigate," Weber said.
Later Friday, mall representatives issued a statement thanking Wauwatosa police for shutting the mall.
"We are disheartened and angered that our guests and tenants were subject to this violent incident today," read the email.
Gov. Tony Evers said he and his wife thought of the victims and their families and wished them a speedy recovery.
"We offer our support for the entire Wauwatosa community as they grapple with this tragedy," Evers said.
Witness accounts: 'Very scary'
Two hours after the shots, the area surrounding the mall was packed with law enforcement agents and worried many inside friends and family members.
Waseem Dilshad said his uncle was twice shot in the leg at a kiosk outside Macy's. Dilshad's cousin also worked at the kiosk and saw the shooting. He was then on the phone with Dilshad.
"He began to curse and cry, saying, 'I'll call you back, there's blood everywhere,'" Dilshad said.
His uncle was taken to Froedtert Hospital and his cousin stayed inside the mall, Dilshad said before 5 p.m.
Cecilia Guerrero, 20, from West Milwaukee, covers Aerie's store within the OFFLINE with her niece, Anahi, a three- and four-store associate unit.
Guerrero said she was in the locked room at 2:50.
"It was very terrifying," said Guerrero. "I was very nervous at the beginning when we didn't know what was going on. But now that I'm safe and no one can get in, I'm OK. But it was very freaky and there was some panic."
Although these shootings are more common" Guerrero said she didn't think it would happen there.
Samantha Paul, 24, had just stepped through Mayfair's second set of doors when a stranger seized her arm and whispered, "Leave.
"I was shaking and crying, and I am still crying," Paul said. "I am so thankful she grabbed me."
As soon as she began running, she said hundreds of people appeared to rush to their vehicles, where many attempted to hide and some screamed at the police to ask what was happening.
"I never thought I'd be in this situation," she said. And with protests, I feel good going there. (Now), I don't want to go by myself. It was terrifying that at 3 p.m."
Shooting outside Macy's.
Gordon Lugauer was in his Board Game Barrister store's back office hearing gunshots.
"sudden and abrupt," he said.
He returned to the shop front where his employees and about a half-dozen customers fell to the floor.
No one inside was injured, but he saw several wounded people outside his store, on the mall's first floor near Macy's.
A person who was waiting to reach the shop because of social distancing laws was shot in the leg. Lugauer and his staff helped the wounded person to wait for paramedics.
Jill Wooley was inside Macy's with her mother, 79, when she said she heard eight to twelve shots from inside the mall.
They fell a moment to the ground, then fled in the opposite direction.
"Unfortunately, we all thought about what we'd do in that situation. Unfortunately, that kicked in and we made it to a safe place," she said.
When Wooley and her mother got out of the mall, she said her mom was shook up and was given a blanket by police.
"All this hasn't sunk in quite yet," Wooley said. "I think there's some shock going on."
New firing string
The shooting at the mall is the fourth time several victims have been injured in a single incident in the Milwaukee area this year.
In February, a 51-year-old co-worker at MolsonCoors' Milwaukee brewery accidentally shot and killed himself.
Two months later, five people were shot and killed in a Milwaukee home in what police characterized as an act of family abuse. Christopher Stokes called 911 and told a dispatcher he had just massacred my entire family" with a shotgun, according to court documents.
Seven people were killed in September when a car entered a crowd of around 100 mourners gathered for a funeral on Milwaukee's north side and someone inside the vehicle opened fire.
The victims—three women and four men—survived their injuries. A new murder survivor was the burial.
The federal government generally described mass shootings as an event with four deadly casualties, but other, wider concepts involved shootings with at least four injuries.
Also Friday's shooting is at least the third time gunfire has been recorded in or near this year's mall.
In February, Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah shot and killed 17-year-old Alvin Cole in the mall parking lot after police say Cole fired a shot while fleeing from police. At the death of the boy, authorities did not prosecute Mensah and the officer has since reached a separation deal with the department.
A individual sustained a "self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg" in the parking lot during a drug-related incident, according to Tosa police.
Mayfair center in Wauwatosa has over 150 retailers and kiosks on two main floors. The mall, first constructed in the 1950s, has more than 1 million square feet of shopping space. It is anchored by Macy's north end department store.
Mayfair is managed by Brookfield Properties, New York-based multinational property management firm.