Tacoma Mall was a scene of chaos on Black Friday.
A shooting at the food court left at least one wounded in a mall packed with busy holiday shoppers.
According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the shooting took place at 7 p.m. local time. Stores were placed on lockdown and shoppers were told to shelter in place until the all-clear was given.
Tacoma police spokesperson Gary Wurges said in a statement that the shooting was the result of a dispute between two groups of people. However, no arrests were immediately made in relation to the shooting.
Customers Describe A Scene Of Fear And Chaos
SHOOTING AT TACOMA MALL.
There was a shooting at the mall at 7:08 p.m. one victim has been found with a gunshot wound. Please stay away from the mall at this time. Deputies and officers from all over the county are assisting Tacoma Police actively search the mall. pic.twitter.com/x266EdQwnr
— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) November 27, 2021
Customers spoke to the New York Post and revealed the feelings of dread and uncertainty inside the mall after the shooting took place.
One customer, Aury Moore, described the panic, saying, “We heard a stampede running through the center of the mall and people trying to run in and the staff here in our store immediately went and locked the doors.”
Moore continued, “While they did that, they had everybody in the store move to the back of the store and get low. Once they had everybody in the back of the store, they opened the back room and had everybody go in the backroom and offered us water and all of that, and got on the phone and called the police.”
2005 Tacoma Mall Mass Shooting Shocks Public
— Andy Burton (@Andy_Burton) November 27, 2021
The Tacoma Mall made national headlines in 2005 when Dominick Maldonado entered the mall on November 20 and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle.
Maldonado shot and wounded several people, paralyzing one. Although several shoppers were also armed, they hesitated to fire back at the risk of injuring innocent bystanders.
The shooter then took four people hostage in a Sam Goody store. Two employees, a customer, and a 12-year-old boy were held hostage for several hours until Maldonado surrendered to a police SWAT team.
Fortunately, no one was killed in the attack. Maldonado, who was 20 at the time of the attack, is currently serving a 163-year sentence for the crime.
He attempted to escape in 2011 by taking a correction officer hostage with a pair of scissors. The Washington State of Corrections transferred him to ADX Florence in 2016 citing “safety and security concerns.”
ADX Florence provides “a higher, more controlled level of custody than a maximum-security prison.”
Black Friday Crime Spree: Home Depot Hammered By Looters
Earlier today, The Blast reported on a robbery at a Home Deport department store in Lakewood, California. A group of suspects ranging in age from 15 to 20 jumped out of cars and stole crowbars, mallets, sledgehammers, and other tools.
Deputies from Los Angeles County reported that an entire section of hammers had been cleared out before looters made their escape in at least ten vehicles that were waiting for them outside the store.
The robbery looks to be pre-meditated and police are concerned that the tools will be used to commit more thefts in the weeks to come.
California Governor Gavin Newsom described the crime as “unacceptable” and promised a “step-up” in policing.