Police say three people were seriously injured in a shooting at the West Edmonton Mall Monday night.
The Edmonton Police Department said in a statement that a shooting was reported at the mall around 7:40 p.m., and three male victims were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.
The police did not specify the age of the injured.
The mall was locked down while the police tactical unit cleared the mall to make sure it was safe.
In mall video obtained by CBC News, alarms can be heard in the mall, followed by a message saying the mall is on lockdown and people should “seek shelter immediately or return to your vehicle.”
Police said the lockdown was lifted around 10 p.m
Buyers hid in the warehouse
Sean Fowler was shopping for clothes at a Foot Locker store just before 8 p.m. when a woman told people to stay inside the store. A few minutes later, a security guard came in and told the store employee to close the door.
Fowler told CBC News that he was ushered into a room at the back of the store, along with other shoppers and staff, and left there for about an hour and a half. During that time, he said, the lights went out and it was difficult to access the Internet on the phone.
“There was no panic or crying,” he said, and people remained calm until the lights came back on and they found they had to leave just after 9.30pm.
Fowler went to the mall to buy clothes because he fled Yellowknife last Friday when residents were ordered to evacuate due to a large wildfire approaching the city, and brought only a few clothes in his car.
“I finally had some time and I was going to buy sneakers and pants,” Fowler said.
According to the police, the shootings were targeted
EPS said the shooting happened in Phase 3 of the mall, which is on the west side of the mall. They added that part of the store will be closed while officers investigate the incident.
Police did not say if anyone was arrested. EPS spokesman Daniel Thames said the investigation was “in its infancy” and there would be further updates in the coming days.
“The preliminary investigation gives police reason to believe that this incident was a targeted event and the parties are known to each other,” Thames said.
“We do not believe there is any other threat to the area at this time.”
EPS asked people to stay away from the mall on Monday night, but said people should “be mindful of the misinformation circulating online” about the incident.
The mall’s transit center was briefly closed and buses in the area were rerouted. Just after 10 p.m., Edmonton Transit said the transit center was open again, although some routes may be delayed.
In a statement, the West Edmonton Mall confirmed that there was a shooting at the mall, but referred additional inquiries to Edmonton police.
According to the WEM website, the mall has more than 800 stores and services and receives more than 30 million visitors annually.
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