TACOMA, Wash. — One person was shot near the food court of the Tacoma Mall just after 7 p.m. Friday, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
The mall reopened at 10 a.m. Saturday following the shooting. The facility went on lockdown for two hours following the incident before closing for the night on Friday.
The male who was shot is in serious, but stable condition at a local hospital, police said.
Around 7:08 p.m. Friday, off-duty officers inside the Tacoma Mall called out on radio that they heard shots fired inside the building near the food court, according to the Tacoma Police Department.
The sheriff's department said it was not an active shooter situation. Tacoma Police Officer Gary Wurges said a fight in the Tacoma Mall food court escalated into gunfire.
There are no suspects in custody. The shots were heard at a nearby restaurant in the mall, Kizuki Ramen.
"We were a full house, had about a 20-minute wait and when we heard the shots, everybody crouched down and started crawling out the exit," said Danielle Tanaka, an employee at the restaurant.
“I was in the back just cooking, making orders and once I heard the first two shots go off, I ran to grab everybody. I started yelling, 'Get down, get down' and I actually had to pull people to the ground because they were still standing up walking around,” said Carlo Medina, an employee at the same restaurant. “People were definitely shocked, they were traumatized, there were people crying in the hallway.”
Everyone inside the mall was escorted out following the lockdown. Tacoma police took any unaccompanied minors to the Tacoma Mall Transit Center for pickup on Friday night.
More than 60 Pierce County deputies responded to the scene, along with units from Tacoma, Lakewood, Ruston, Puyallup, and Sumner police departments, transit police and the Washington State Patrol.
The shooting happened on Black Friday, which usually draws extra shoppers into stores. It's unclear how many people were inside the mall when the shooting occurred.
Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and Deputy Mayor Keith Blocker shared the following statement Friday night:
"We want to acknowledge the magnitude of this event that occurred this evening and thank our first responders for swiftly responding to the scene. We are grateful to our local law enforcement partners who responded to the call with us today. While there are not a lot of details available at this time, we believe this to be an isolated event and the Tacoma Police Department is hard at work, conducting a full investigation. Because the impacts of gun violence ripple out community-wide, we continue to place high priority on public safety. As we learn more, we stand with everyone impacted by this event – we are stronger together."
The day before Thanksgiving, two people were injured in a shooting outside Westfield Southcenter Mall around 6:30 p.m., according to the Tukwila Police Department.