Monroeville PA Jan 8 2017 A man was shot and injured Friday afternoon in the parking lot of the Monroeville Mall, and police took two people into custody for questioning a short time later.
The shooting occurred about the same time as an attempted retail theft in the mall’s J.C. Penney that resulted in a fight between a woman and security guard, adding to the flurry of police activity around the facility.
A Monroeville police officer out on patrol received a report at 4:11 p.m. that shots had been fired near the Goodyear auto store on Mall Circle Drive, across from the Macy’s store that anchors the Monroeville Mall. About the same time, dispatchers in the Monroeville police department began receiving calls reporting that shots had been fired and “individuals [were] fleeing into the mall for safety,” according to a news release from Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole.
About 10 minutes after the initial flurry of calls, one person drove himself to UPMC East hospital. He had gunshot wounds “that he admits occurred on Mall [Boulevard],” the chief said. Chief Cole said in a later interview that the man was shot in the leg and his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
Chief Cole said police took two people into custody outside the mall. Neither of those people had injuries, police said, nor had been charged as of Friday night.
Monroeville police officers were reviewing surveillance footage and interviewing witnesses Friday while workers from the Allegheny County crime lab processed evidence from the shooting scene.
Monroeville and Pitcairn officers had placed 10 evidence markers in the area around parking pole 32. Officers clad in winter coats, gloves and knit hats searched in and around a row of parked cars in the same area in the bitter cold as nightfall descended on the borough.
Chief Cole said police impounded two cars as part of their investigation. He said the shooting did not appear to be tied to recent incidents in which teenagers were reported fighting at the mall.
“It didn’t seem to have anything to do with the shopping center itself,” Chief Cole said. “This seemed to be people coming together in a parking lot and that’s where the incident occurred.”
Laura Duda, a spokeswoman for Goodyear in North America, said one bullet struck an upper window on a garage door at the Goodyear store on Mall Circle Drive. She said a shell casing was also found in the store parking lot.
“It doesn’t appear that the shooting had anything to do with the Goodyear store,” Ms. Duda said. “All of our associates and all of our customers are safe,” she said, adding that “our hearts do go out to everyone impacted.”
Mall officials were also working with Monroeville police during the investigation. Mall spokeswoman Stacey Keating said the mall had no evacuations and was open as scheduled Friday.