Photo: Josh Morrell / WNYT.
Photo: Josh Morrell / WNYT.
Updated: July 23, 2020 11:20 AM
Created: July 22, 2020 04:36 PM
GUILDERLAND - Still no suspects named in the shooting at Crossgates Mall Wednesday afternoon. Guilderland police said their investigation is just getting started, but they did share some new information with reporters.
No one was injured, but the mall remains on lockdown as police investigate. Guilderland Police Deputy Chief Curtis Cox confirmed his department is confident at least one shot was fired near Footlocker around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Though some witnesses told NewsChannel 13 they heard two shots, Cox was not able to confirm that.
“Inside an enclosed space one can sound like 20, so I can't give you a definitive answer,” he said.
Others thought the noise was something else entirely.
"I actually heard someone say a book dropped from the second floor, but no one really knew, I just heard a sound and automatically the first reaction was to get in the back,” Joseph Laurange said.
Laurange and Jessica DiMatteo were shopping in American Eagle when they heard the commotion.
“All of a sudden we saw like a bunch of girls running toward the back, toward the dressing rooms,” DiMatteo said. “Then I heard all the employees screaming, ‘Everyone get in the back,’ and my heart just sank and we ran into the back and we were in there for about two hours probably."
Reporters asked Cox about the number of people and the number Guilderland officers in the mall at the time of the shooting. He could not give an exact answer for either.
Reporters also asked Cox about similar incidents at the mall in recent years. He said his department uses each incident as a learning opportunity to improve on the next.
"It's an ongoing process, so it can be challenging and it's something that we address routinely and constantly because it is so dynamic,” he said.
Police training wasn’t the only thing that helped the situation. Mall employees also got shoppers to safety very quickly.
"Their positive reaction to this and doing what they should do also helps to a successful outcome where nobody gets hurt,” Cox said.
Pyramid Management Group, which runs Crossgates, released this statement:
“The safety of our guests and tenants is our highest priority. We are working with law enforcement to investigate an incident that took place this afternoon at Crossgates. Out of an abundance of caution, the property remains on lockdown until further notice.”
Anyone who was at the mall Wednesday or has information about the shooting should contact the Guilderland Police Department.
Stay tuned to NewsChannel 13 for updates.
Crossgates plans to reopen Thursday.
Shoppers being released from the mall just a few minutes ago. Two of them told me they hid in the back room at Gap for a little over an hour waiting for police to clear them. .@WNYT pic.twitter.com/ystGHT7eBy— Emily Burkhard (@emily_burkhard) July 22, 2020
The safety of our guests and tenants is our highest priority. We are working with law enforcement to investigate an incident that took place this afternoon at Crossgates. Out of an abundance of caution, the property remains on lockdown until further notice.#CrossgatesAlerts https://t.co/OBGC8DRfnk Crossgates (@Crossgates_Mall) July 22, 2020
.@albanypolice officers are currently assisting @guilderlandpd with an incident of shots fired at @Crossgates_Mall. No injuries reported. A large police presence is at the mall & investigating. For your safety, please remain clear of the mall and surrounding roadways. pic.twitter.com/uE59tgGyXa Steve Smith (@APDSmith) July 22, 2020
State Police and other law enforcement agencies are assisting the Guilderland Police Department with an active investigation at Crossgates Mall. Avoid the immediate area surrounding Crossgates at this time. NewYorkStatePolice (@nyspolice) July 22, 2020
#BREAKING Guilderland PD say Crossgates Mall is currently on lockdown after officers responded to reports of shots fired a few minutes ago. Ill have the latest coming up live on @WNYT pic.twitter.com/rMILzamDGj Emily Burkhard (@emily_burkhard) July 22, 2020
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