NASSAU COUNTY, NY — A 67-year-old man was wounded Tuesday during a shooting at a crowded suburban New York shopping mall, officials said.
The alleged shooter was taken into custody after an attempted robbery at Roosevelt Field mall about 1 p.m., Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano told reporters.
The victim, an unidentified mall employee, was struck in the shoulder outside the store by a stray bullet, Mangano said.
Witnesses described panicked shoppers running from the mall.
The alleged shooter had gained access to the Rolex section of a high-end Tourneau watch store when the single shot was fired, Mangano said.
The suspect was apprehended by a store security guard, police said.
Parts of the mall were evacuated and others placed on lockdown, though the mall remained opened, officials said.
Garden City schools also were in lockdown for a time, according to CNN affiliate WABC.
“As you know, this is one of the most crowded times of the year,” acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said of the mall. “There were a significant number of people near the Tourneau store.”
Video from the scene showed shoppers standing outside the mall in small groups, some talking on their cell phones. Heavily armed officers descended on the shopping complex.
“Everybody was just running out of the mall,” one shopper, Mary Hartill, told CNN affiliate News12.
Jessica Julig told WABC she was shopping when employees suddenly told her to stay down.
She heard people screaming, Julig told the station, then “started to feel the whole mall shake.”
People ran everywhere, according to Julig. Mall workers escorted her and others to a service entrance.
Police responded to the robbery as a possible active shooter situation.
“That’s how we respond in this day and age,” Mangano said.