A shooting at Fashion Show mall on Tuesday evening left three people injured, sending shoppers into a panic and prompting a large police presence on the Strip and an evacuation of the mall.
An ambulance comes out from the Nordstrom parking lot at the Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Jan. 21,2020. pic.twitter.com/hap4Hurvlt
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Capt. Dori Koren of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Convention Center area command emphasized during an 8 p.m. news conference outside the mall, 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. South, that the shooting was an “isolated incident,” not a case of an active shooter.
“As of right now, we’re confident there’s no threat to the immediate area,” he said, though the shooter or shooters remained at large as of around 9:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Koren said that the shooting erupted about 6:15 p.m., when a fight inside the mall between a “group of individuals” escalated. The three people who were shot were taken to University Medical Center with survivable injuries, but more information about the victims was not available.
“We don’t know the role of every single victim,” Koren said.
Police on Tuesday night did not disclose the location of the fight or the shooting.
But Juston Thompson, a 34-year-old employee at Garra Fish Spas, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that shortly after the shots were fired, he saw a man bleeding on the ground near Dillard’s, at the western end of the mall, while a crowd of about 40 to 50 people were running.
Thompson said that in the midst of the panic he was reminded of the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“I thought about Mandalay Bay, and I just stopped,” he said. “I got so scared and nervous.”
Among the large crowd running near Dillard’s was 16-year-old Riley Hoover, who was at the mall with a friend and his mother.
Just before the shooting, Hoover said, he was sitting in a massage chair near Dillard’s when he heard what sounded like gunshots.
When he looked up, he said, people were “running everywhere.”
His friend’s mom led the two teens out an exit and into a nearby parking garage, where they hid as Hoover’s parents scrambled to get to the Strip from the Silverado Ranch area in the southern valley.
Finally, about two hours later, he ran across busy Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, which borders the Dillard’s side of the mall, and into his parents’ arms.
“Oh, thank God,” his mom said as she hugged him.
He said that he and his mom were on the phone while he was running out of the mall, and she instructed him to keep his head down.
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It wasn’t clear how many shots were fired during the fight, but Claudia Magdaleno, a 28-year-old employee at The Body Shop, said she heard four or five shots.
She said she pulled seven or eight people into her store and closed the doors.
“I’m just trying to calm down,” Magdaleno said as she stood outside the mall Tuesday night. “It’s just something that you hear about all the time and you don’t really know what it feels like until it happens to you.”
Last May, reported gunshots and a precautionary evacuation caused panic at the mall, but no one was injured. Hasean Quinn was accused of firing a single shot into the ceiling of the mall and charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
In 2014, a fight in the mall’s food court left one man with a gunshot wound to the side of his neck. The man fled from the scene and walked himself into MountainView Hospital before police took him to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
Koren added Tuesday night: “We have an unbelievable community that knows how to respond to these incidents, deal with them as quickly as possible and limit the damage. Hopefully this evening we’ve done just that.”
The doors to the mall remained locked about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday night, and police denied people re-entrance into a parking garage as those who were inside the mall drove out.
All road closures in the area, with the exception of westbound Spring Mountain Road at Las Vegas Boulevard, had reopened around 9:40 p.m., police said. The shooting also forced a roughly two-hour closure of all Interstate 15 freeway off-ramps to Spring Mountain.
Contact Rio Lacanlale at email@example.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter. Contact Katelyn Newberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Alexis Egeland contributed to this report.