Northgate Mall shooting doesn't deter shoppers
Posted February 1, 2016
Durham, N.C. — Shoppers may have concerns about security after a weekend shooting outside a Durham mall, but they said Monday they aren't concerned enough to stay away.
Police say the Saturday night incident started as an altercation inside Northgate Mall that spilled out into the parking lot, where a woman was shot in the arm. She was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
In April 2014, police responded to another shooting in the mall parking lot. No one was hurt in that incident. Two women were mugged as they walked to their cars in a December 2014 incident.
"All I know is you have to prevent the crime before it happens," shopper Linda McLamb said.
Virginia Bowman of mall owner Northgate Associates said the mall works hard to do just that.
"These things are happening everywhere. I wish we could say we could prevent them. We have over 50 interior and exterior cameras. We have a trained security staff. It is our top priority to provide a safe clean environment for our patrons," Bowman said in a statement.
She said there are no plans to upgrade security in the wake of Saturday's shooting.
Shopper Bill Beckman said he feels the mall is doing a good job with security and that the shooting won't keep him from coming back.
"I consider events like that pretty random," Beckman said.
Linda McLamb said she already steers clear of the mall at night but has shopped there for decades.
"I don't come at night. Usually, I'm accompanied by my husband, and we are here during the day," McLamb said. "It is a lot of activity going on as far as crime, and that is sad because it's taken away from the mall traffic."
Williams agrees that Northgate isn't what it once was.
"A lot of the stores have closed. The whole atmosphere has changed," she said.
The mall is about 20 percent vacant, but Bowman said management is working to fill the vacancies with various tenants.