Three shot, including 10-year-old, in Black Friday shooting at The Streets at Southpoint; One in custody
Posted November 26, 2021 3:51 p.m. EST
Updated November 27, 2021 9:57 a.m. EST
Durham, N.C. — Three people were shot at The Streets at Southpoint shopping center on Friday afternoon and one person was taken into custody, officials said.
One of the people shot was a 10-year-old, who was hurt from a bullet ricochet. The child was taken to a local hospital with injuries not thought to be life-threatening.
Durham police chief Patrice Andrews told local media that the shooting occurred between two groups of people who knew each other just before 3:30 p.m. on the second floor of the mall.
Police did not give information on the extent of the injuries of the other two victims. Authorities are speaking with several witnesses.
"The shootings in this city have got to stop," Andrews said. "We have worked with all of our federal partners to identify these individuals that are bent on coming to our community and wreaking havoc. We will be sending them to federal prison."
An additional three people were injured during the evacuation. Andrews said the shooting was never an active shooter situation as the individuals involved fled immediately after the shooting.
A voice over scanner traffic to first responders after the shooting can be heard saying, "respond to Southpoint, one shot in the foot, second victim shot in the chest."
The shopping mall was locked down as law enforcement responded to the situation. The mall was closed for the rest of Friday as a large police presence responded. A spokesperson with Brookfield Properties told WRAL News the mall will reopen to shoppers on Saturday at 11 a.m.
A Nordstrom employee said he heard as many as six gunshots.
WRAL reporter Aaron Thomas happened to be shopping inside one of the mall's stores on Friday.
"We were in the Express store, and I was looking around at one of the clothing racks, and all of a sudden, I see this swarm of people running," Thomas said. "At that point, it's like you don't know what to do, do you run out or do you stay in the store and try to hunker down. We did lock down and they locked the doors."
Police eventually helped escort shoppers out of the mall, and traffic backed up around the area as thousands tried to head for home. Part of Fayetteville Road was closed while officials directed traffic away from the mall.
WRAL photojournalist Keith Baker said people seemed to be walking calmly out of the mall and things appeared orderly around 4:30 p.m.
“The situation is still fluid, but of course we’re all deeply, deeply concerned," said Durham councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton. "This is Black Friday. This is a huge shopping day. We know a lot of people are out after the holiday trying to do shopping.”
“Our first responders are on scene, and let’s let them do their work and securing the mall and treating any victims that there may be and apprehending anyone that needs to be apprehended," Middleton said. "It's really important that folks stay clear of the area and let our first responders get in there and do the work they’ve been trained to do.”
An employee of Sunglass Hut said, “We were working with customers, and then all we saw was people starting to run and screaming, and then everybody was just starting to panic."
Photos shared with WRAL News appeared to show blood on the floor.
Brookfield, who oversees the mall property, released a statement following the shooting.
"Streets at Southpoint is a destination for the community to gather. We are saddened and outraged that we were the location for such a senseless act of violence among a group of individuals. Right now we are focusing on the well-being of those impacted by today's incident. We are grateful to the Durham police department for their diligence and partnership. We will offer support to their investigation however we can."
On Oct. 24, police were also called to the mall for a reports of shots fired after a large fight broke out in the food court. Multiple witnesses said a gun was displayed but not fired during the fight on that day just over a month ago. Instead, people likely heard a broomstick hitting a table during the fight, according to police.