No gunshots confirmed inside Crabtree Valley Mall, police say - | WBTV Charlotte

No gunshots confirmed inside Crabtree Valley Mall, police say

The entrance to the mall on Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Amy Cutler/WNCN) The entrance to the mall on Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Amy Cutler/WNCN)
RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) -

Crabtree Valley Mall was empty Saturday night as everyone inside was evacuated following reports of gunshots fired inside the mall earlier in the day.

A report of gunshots inside the mall came in to police at about 2:30 p.m., but police hours later said they still could not confirm that shots were fired even after their on-scene investigation finished after 10 p.m.

No one was arrested and no one suffered any gunshot wounds, police said. However, police said their overall investigation is not complete.

MOBILE USERS: Click here for photos of the scene

Eight people — ranging in ages from 10 to 70 — were transported to area hospitals for minor injuries, mainly from falls, while trying to exit the mall after the reported gunshots, police said in a news conference at 6 p.m.

Mall officials said Saturday night that they expect the mall to operate under normal hours for Sunday, which are noon to 7 p.m.

During the day on Saturday, Go Raleigh sent buses to the mall so evacuees could shelter from the heat inside the buses. Some people were inside the nearby Marriott where dozens lined the hallways and the lobby.

Antonio Richardson, the owner of Casanova, a clothing store in the mall, says he saw a shooting unfold after an argument in the food court and that he heard as many as four shots.

He told The Associated Press that he was standing at the entrance to his store Saturday afternoon when he saw two men who appeared to be in their early 20s arguing in the food court.

He says he saw one of them pull out a gun and begin shooting. As he was running away, he says he heard as many as four shots in all.

Crabtree Valley Mall released a statement around 7 p.m. Saturday explaining how people can claim any items they left behind during the mall evacuation:

“Shoppers who left items in the mall should check the Crabtree Valley Mall Facebook page (@shopcrabtree), the mall’s website (http://www.shopcrabtree.com) or call the mall office after  noon on Sunday (919-787-2506) for details on how to claim their property,” mall officials said.

Glenwood Avenue/ US 70 was closed and was expected to reopen by 7 p.m. but that opening was delayed and the road was finally reopened around 8:15 p.m., NC DOT said.

A witness, Laurren Baker, told CBS News that she and her friends heard gunshots as they were entering the mall.

They turned and ran outside, along with a rush of other people. Baker said the incident happened near the mall’s food court and she saw a person get handcuffed, but police have not confirmed those details and said no one has been arrested.

John Riggleman and Kristin Warring told The Associated Press that they were heading to a video game store when they heard shots, also coming from the mall’s food court. They ran into the store with dozens of others before the doors of the mall were locked.

Warring said she heard an additional series of shots.

A witness told CBS North Carolina’s Amy Cutler that she heard gunshots fired. Another witness told WNCN’s Patrick Priest that he heard two shots inside the mall.

An employee from H & M also told Cutler that workers were told to immediately evacuate the mall.

Security officials ordered people to leave mall property — telling them that a lockdown was in place and it was for several hours since the mall never reopened to the public.

At least 100 people who were once inside the mall gathered at the Marriott across from the mall.

Here is a full statement from Raleigh Police, released at 4:12 p.m.:

At approximately 2:30 p.m., Raleigh Police responded to a report of shots fired inside the Crabtree Valley mall located at 4325 Glenwood Ave. Nobody is currently being let in or out of the mall at this time.

No suspects have been arrested, and no one with gunshot wounds has been located.

Additional information will be released as follow-up work on the call continues.

— The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report

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