GUILDERLAND — Storm clouds swirled overhead as several police agencies held Crossgates Mall under lockdown following reports of gunfire in the late afternoon of Wednesday, July 22.
At approximately 4 p.m., Guilderland police received several calls of gunshots fired from inside the mall outside of the Foot Locker shoe store. No injuries were reported and no details of a suspect were released Wednesday evening.
According to a statement released by Crossgates Mall, the shooting was an “isolated incident” Mall officials stressed that the shooting was not a random act. Instead, it resulted from an altercation that escalated among “known acquaintances.” The statement also said the suspected shooter “vacated the property.”
One shopper described “a huge mob” running through the mall immediately after the shooting.
“We were headed to our last store as an officer ran from behind us, passing us,” the shopper wrote on Facebook, “and a huge mob of people ran towards us screaming.” The shopper said she and a companion took shelter in a neighboring store. Police cleared them to leave approximately 90 minutes later. “I’ll never go into a mall without thinking twice now.
“I honestly thought we could possibly die today.”
Squad cars severed access to the mall from Western Avenue. More police agencies blocked access to the parking lots facing Washington Avenue. Law enforcement officials stood outside each doorway into the mall. At one point, a team of half a dozen police officers rushed through the first-floor entrance near Lord & Taylor, while another officer armed with a rifle stood outside another exit.
The scene outside of the mall was reminiscent of a similar incident outside of the Apple store in November 2016. Several agencies including Colonie, Albany, Albany County Sheriffs and State Police responded to the scene.
Guilderland police continues to investigate the situation. Crossgates Mall said it intends to open for business tomorrow morning.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.
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