ALBANY, N.Y. Nov 15 2016 The Guilderland police chief says they are still looking for one suspect at this time who was involved in a shooting at the Crossgates Mall.
They’re described as a black male, 6′, 200 pounds, wearing a white shirt and black hoodie.
No one is in custody and they say they have no victims, but officials say the entire mall has been searched and there are no patrons left inside. Police will continue to process the building throughout the night.
“It was just scary,” said Ann Taylor employee, Amanda Jesser. “It’s probably the scariest thing I’ve ever been through and we had no idea what was happening.”
Jesser didn’t know what was happening, but knew it was something bad. Her co-worker, Cara Eppelmann, felt the same way.
“The first thing I saw was just people running out of the mall, literally running,” Eppelmann said.
“We all just ran to the back of the store,” Jesser added.
The Guilderland police chief says the call came in at 2:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon for a report of shots fired near the Apple store.
“You could tell it was gunfire,” said shopper, Marleen McTague. “I mean you could hear the pop, pop and it was like oh my god, let’s get out of here.”
McTague was doing some holiday shopping with her sisters when her twin got left behind and locked inside The Gap during the commotion.
“I’m upset and worried that my sister’s in there,” McTague said. “You don’t know what’s going on in there.”
All sales workers were told to shelter in place.
“[We were] huddled together and sobbing pretty much,” said Lush employee, Boo Morgado. “We were all on our phones trying to reach out to loved ones, and we were just trying to stay as quiet as we could.”
Law enforcement agencies cleared stores one by one, and once let out, emotions were high.
“It puts things into perspective, you know, like you think you’re having a bad day at work, and then it just 360,” Eppelmann said.
“I’m just extremely happy,” Jesser said. “I’m about to go home, to go say hi to my dog right now, my boyfriend and my family so ‘Lucky to be here?’ Yeah.”
The chief says she has no reason to believe the public is in any danger, but wants people to be vigilant. Guilderland police say they have some solid leads, and this was an isolated incident between two individuals.
Police would not comment on if the incident is “gang-related.”
If you have any information about what happened Saturday afternoon or have any footage of the incident, you are urged to contact the Guilderland Police Department at (518) 356-1501.
Mall officials do say they expect Crossgates to open around 11 a.m. Sunday morning but say to watch social media in case that changes.
They will have extra security on hand.
They add if anyone left personal items in a store or the common area of the mall, to make arrangements with those respective places.