A N.Y. massive mall and a local school were on lockdown after a gunman walked into a lighting company Wednesday and began shooting two workers, one fatally, before fleeing. Some highway exits were also shutdown as police conducted a search.
Nassau Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said at a news briefing the suspected gunman was believed to be a “disgruntled ex-vendor” of Savenergy Inc., who had shot the company’s owner and an employee. He did not say which of the victims had died. The second victim was alive but “struggling,” Skrynecki said as police continued to search for the shooter.
Police Det. Vincent Garcia said the male shooter entered the single-story building about 10:10 a.m. and opened fire, then got into a car and drove off. Within about a half-hour, the Roosevelt Field Mall was locked down, with nobody permitted to enter or leave; the shooting had occurred in a smaller separate shopping area.
Police began allowing people to leave the mall about 1 p.m.
Roosevelt Field Mall is in Garden City, NY, on Long Island, about 25 miles east of Manhattan. It has more than 70 specialty stores, as well as a cinema complex and restaurants.
“This is terrifying,” one shopper, Nancy Petrillo, told Newsday. “After what happened in Kenya, everyone is already on edge.”
More than 65 people were killed when terrorists attacked an upscale shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, this week.
“People were running around. It was pretty chaotic. Cops were everywhere and people were running,” Jennifer Haber of Stamford, Conn., told Newsday.
Haber said she was walking from the mall to a nearby hotel when she heard what she thought were gunshots.
“The cops came racing by a minute later and told me to get inside,” she said.
The shooting sent the Garden City School District and the Roosevelt Field Mall into lockdown.
Many shoppers and store employees at the mall were nervous when they saw police swarm the area.
“We were in line, and suddenly someone said the store is being closed and we had to leave,” Anna Stellar, a German tourist who was shopping at the time, told the Post. “Then we heard there was a shooter somewhere outside. Of course, the first thing I thought of was Kenya.”