FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – An altercation between two men left one of them injured in a shooting at Glenbrook Square Mall, Fort Wayne Police said Friday.
FWPD officers and an ambulance could be seen at the scene shortly after noon responding to numerous calls of gunshots, one of those calls being from the victim himself.
A police spokesperson said officers found a victim shot in the leg near the fountain by JCPenney. Witnesses told Fort Wayne police officers the suspect fled, and while police did not have anyone in custody a department spokesman said there is a possible person of interest.
Police said the altercation took place between two men, leading to one shooting the other. Police said the victim is stable but is not cooperating with officers at this time.
Shoppers and workers were evacuating the mall and taking shelter where they could. Police said it is not an active shooter situation.
An alert was sent to employees that said, “Please take shelter until cleared by police or mall management. We have a security event in progress.”
Police are looking at surveillance footage and witnesses are cooperating.
“There is an inherent risk of being in any crowded public place,” said Officer Daniel Nerzig, a public information officer with FWPD. “We can’t vet every person who goes into a public place.”
Nerzig also said this was an incident involving two people who didn’t know how to resolve their issues and chose to put other people at risk.
Amanda Sabic told WANE 15 she had just started shopping at a store near the fountain when she heard gunshots.
“People started running,” Sabic said. “As soon as [employees] heard the shots, they closed their gates.”
Sabic said she and nearby shoppers were brought inside a storage room at the back of the store, where they stayed in lockdown for about 30 minutes.
“I was pretty terrified,” Sabic said. “I just can’t understand how Fort Wayne has turned this chaotic.”
Glenbrook made the decision to close the mall for the remainder of the day, and the Jurassic Empire exhibit in the parking lot also appeared to be closed. The mall planned to reopen Saturday.
The incident is unrelated to a shooting on July 8 at the mall, police determined. In that instance- which court documents show stemmed from an argument over a woman- the suspect turned himself in and was arrested nearly a week later.
Officials with the mall have been making a push to hire more police officers to work part-time security inside the mall since that July shooting, Nerzig said. Nerzig did not know whether more officers are currently working security at the mall or whether that plan had been implemented yet.
FWPD, Allen County Sheriff’s officers and Indiana State Police were all at the scene investigating Friday. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact FWPD at 260-427-1201, Crime Stoppers at 260-436-7867, or use the free P3 Tips app.