Employees recount moments following Washington Square Mall shooting

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 28, 2015) - Those inside the Washington Square Mall as gunshots rang out Wednesday described their experience of confusion and chaos, not knowing what may happen next.

When they heard gunshots, a stampede of people fled the common area where police say the shooting took place. They looked for a place to take shelter.

“We heard the gunshots like it was like pop, pop, pop, pop and then the customers started running in saying, ‘Somebody’s shooting! Somebody’s shooting!’” recalled Tamera Romero, who works at Burlington Coat Factory in the mall.

Employees of nearby stores like Burlington Coat Factory went into emergency mode and shuffled customers and scared shoppers to the back of the store and put entrances on lockdown.

“Everybody was scared, everybody was panicking because everybody had family members and stuff that was already in the store and they couldn’t find them, so they’re calling like, where’s everybody at?” said Simone Delphie, who also works at Burlington Coat Factory.

The shots rang out at peak shopping time, around 6:30 p.m.

“This could’ve been a mall, a park, a gas station. This could’ve been anywhere these two individuals had run into each other. So even though this is an active investigation, we have a pretty good idea that these two had something going on,” said IMPD Deputy Police Chief Brian Mahone.

Fears of a random attack were immediately put to rest. Investigators said the attack was targeted. Two men involved in an argument, one opening fire, and two others caught in the crossfire.

“The lady came on the announcements and said there’s been several people shot at Washington Square Mall and there’s a lockdown and stuff,” said T’Awni Jones, a Warren Central High School sophomore.

Nearby Warren Central High School was put on lockdown. Jones was there late for an after school program.

“It was shocking because you wouldn’t expect anything to happen at this mall, (there's) not a lot of activity that happens at this mall and it’s a police headquarters in the back so you wouldn’t expect anything to happen,” she said.

But for those returning to work at the mall Thursday, there was no comfort in knowing what happened there Wednesday night.

“When you get stuff like this it’s kind of like, is this where you really want to be? I don’t know,” said Delphie.

Stores were kept on lockdown for a little more than an hour and soon after, the mall was evacuated. The suspect remains at large.

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