Gunshots, Screams, Hiding: Witness Interviews, Scene from Video Show at Park City Center | Local News

Gunshots echoed over the regularly playing background music from the Park City Center shopping mall in Lancaster, turning what would have been an ordinary Sunday into “utter chaos and panic” for shoppers and workers sent on the run for. to shelter.

Several shots were fired.

Someone was lying bloody on the floor of the mall in the middle of the kiosks.

An armed passerby in a gray sweatshirt and baseball cap with sunglasses on the brim, held a pistol pointed at a gunshot victim as he shouted orders.

Fifteen people hid in the bathroom of a one-person store, along with a newborn baby, in terrified.

Several videos posted on social media as well as interviews with witnesses capture the immediate consequences of Sunday shoot at Park City Center, which started with two men who knew each other during an altercation, Lancaster Police said.

A three-minute clip shows a man wearing blue jeans, a gray sweatshirt and a black baseball cap with sunglasses perched on the bill. He holds a small handgun in both hands, pointing it at a man on the ground in the aisle of the JC Penney Wing.

“Roll over on your stomach!” Now ! He shouts. The man, dressed in black pants and a black hoodie, appears to be bleeding lightly from his face. He is conscious and moving.

The armed man directs or allows a heavily tattooed man from behind a kiosk to assist the injured man.

The unidentified man appeared to be the bystander, Lancaster Police said, shot one of the many people involved in the initial shots and then maintained control until security arrived and the police.

The police questioned and released the passer-by; he was legally armed, police said. A witness testified that the passer-by had a concealed transport permit; the police did not say if this was the case.

Police said the passer-by was shopping when he heard the shots, walked over and “then engaged the subjects arguing for the gun and fired shots, hitting one of the suspects. “.

It is not clear whether the man in black on the ground was shot by a bystander or if the bystander shot one of the other two men according to police.

Police declined to answer questions, with a spokesperson saying they were deliberating what they were posting.

“The investigation is continuing and will be very active, as investigators are putting together video footage from many different sources to better understand what happened. The investigation will also focus on the events leading up to the initial altercation and what led to the shooting, ”police said in a statement on Monday around 12:30 pm.

The first shooting resulted from an altercation between two men who knew each other and at least one of them – a 16-year-old boy – had a gun, police said. They and others then fought over the weapon and the 16-year-old fired at least two shots, hitting at least one of those involved in the altercation.

A woman shopping with her family was shot in the arm, police said. None of the injuries were fatal; It was not clear how many victims had to be hospitalized, but two people were treated and released, police said.

The 16-year-old will be charged, police say. As of Monday evening, publicly available online court records had not shown any charges filed. He was still hospitalized Monday afternoon.

Police have asked anyone with information to call them at 717-735-3301.

“I felt so helpless”

The shooting happened around 2:20 p.m. and sent buyers and employees to scramble.

Hana Ali, 57, and her sister own Tabarak Al-Hana, an international food store in the mall. His sister Maal Al-Hussiny, 67, was working at the time of the shooting.

Ali was not in the store at the time, but Al-Hussiny called her and Ali returned to the store.

“I have been in the mall for almost 25 years and nothing like this has happened,” Ali said.

Ali said she still felt shocked and a little sick on Monday.

“We have to be careful, but things are happening,” she said, adding that she is from Iraq and lived through the Desert Storm War. “Life must continue.”

When 24-year-old Michaela Wood returned to Francesca’s house, which is near the scene of the shooting, on Monday morning, she said she “had a stomach ache”.

Wood, a manager of the store, was shopping at TJ Maxx in Parkview Plaza across from the mall when one of her employees called her about the shooting.

She left the store and headed for the mall.

“I started hearing the sirens while I was on the phone with her and kind of gave her that peace of mind of hearing the sirens,” Wood said.

She was not allowed to enter the store, so she kept in touch with her three team members by phone.

“I felt so helpless,” Wood said. “I was like ‘did I just run over there and help or what should I do now?’ … The number of phone calls I received to thank [the employees] made me more than proud of them. “

“It was total chaos and panic:” Shoppers and Park City Center employees share their experiences on Sunday’s shoot

In hiding

Lydia Hamer, 20, of Quentin, grew up going to Park City Center with her grandmother when she was younger.

On their last trip to the mall with their boyfriend on Sunday, the couple found themselves crammed into the one-person bathroom with 13 other people, including a newborn, in the back of Journey’s after the shots rang out.

Hamer and her boyfriend were on their way to the center circle after leaving another store when they heard a loud bang, she recalls.

“I don’t think anyone treated him,” she said. “Everyone froze, and then when the second (gunshot) happened, that’s when the screaming started. “

The couple rushed into Journeys, the store closest to them, where they ran to the bathroom and barricaded the door with everything they had around – a metal Journey sign and a shelf in plastic. They stayed there for about 30 minutes.

“Everyone was decently calm,” Hamer said, adding that a woman had started to cry. “It was absolutely terrifying.”

The employees at The Journey, who Hamer said were all in their 20s, knew exactly what to do, she said.

“They were amazing,” she said.

Hamer said she and her boyfriend plan to return soon, hopefully to remove the trauma from Sunday.

“Total chaos and panic”

During a typical Sunday shopping trip, Dora Aipa, 51, was looking at earrings in Hot Topic with her 13-year-old daughter, Tori Stewart. Her sons, Logan, 19, and Ashton, 16, waited patiently outside the store.

Dora Aipa heard a “pop pop” and within seconds she looked down to see her daughter gone as she was dragged into a sea of ​​people rushing for an exit at the back of the store. She tried to call 911, but her hand was far too shaking, she said. The time on the phone was 2:20 p.m.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I don’t even have my gun. Where are my children? ‘ Said Dora Aipa, who has a concealed transport permit. “I was in total panic. I just froze, there was no fight or flight. I literally froze because I looked down and didn’t see my daughter.

The mother of seven recalled hearing constant screams from those around her. At the forefront of her mind were the children, including the dozens of babies in strollers she had seen earlier in the day.

“We were piled up like sardines,” said Dora Aipa. “It was total chaos and panic.”

She and several other people were trapped in the employee hallway behind Hot Topic. The exit door at the end of the hall was locked.

“[Logan Aipa] he just took her shoulder and banged her so hard on the door and blew up the door, ”injuring her shoulder, she said.

When Dora Aipa arrived at her car 20 minutes later, she learned that her sons had stumbled upon Hot Topic and that the Hot Topic employee she had spoken with moments before had taken her daughter to safety.

“She just saw the guns and her instinct was to protect my daughter who is standing right next to her,” Dora Aipa said of the employee she called “rainbow haired girl” “.

“She protected my daughter because the shooting took place right outside the store… this girl needs to be thanked,” said Dora Aipa.

Her other son, Ashton Aipa, had tripped over a box in the hallway and encountered another person fleeing the shooting. In the fight, he lost his shoes, hit his toe and twisted his ankle. Dora Aipa said her son, diagnosed with Asperger’s, didn’t like being in public even before the shooting.

“He’s scared to go out in public,” she said, adding that he was very upset that he had bumped into someone else. “He’s severely traumatized… he couldn’t sleep last night.

At her car, Dora Aipa quickly put her gun back in its holster. As she waited, crying inside the car, relatives of employees still inside approached her. They wanted to know if she had been in the mall and if, perhaps, she had seen their children.

“I’ve been through a lot in my life, but it’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced,” said Dora Aipa.

What we know – and don’t know – about the Park City Center shooting

“I think no one treated him”

Lindsay Kahn, spokesperson for Chicago-based mall owner Brookfield Properties, said in a statement: “We recognize that (Sunday) was a frightening experience for our mall community, and we are saddened to have was the scene of such an unfortunate incident. Although we never disclose the details of our security program, we are constantly monitoring and adjusting our security protocols. “

The mall has a no weapons policy, which is posted at the entrances. She declined to comment on the viewer having a gun, despite the policy, citing the investigation.


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