COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in South Carolina were responding Saturday night to reports of shots fired at a mall in the suburbs outside the capital city.
Lt. Curtis Wilson of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department told The Associated Press that he was en route to the Columbiana Centre mall in Columbia and was acting off preliminary reports and had no information on any injuries or arrests.
Columbiana Centre has several anchor stores, a food court and dozens of retail shops.
Stacey Haltiwanger, owner of a boutique in the mall, said she was in her store about 7 p.m. and heard noises that she now realizes were likely gunshots. Haltiwanger was running the cash register inside Classy & Sassy when she says she saw everyone in the mall in front of her stop whatever they were doing and start running.
“They were all running and leaving stuff behind, like there were snakes behind them,” she said.
Haltiwanger said she did not see the shooting happen.
Dozens of police cars with lights flashing could be seen on the road around the mall, and traffic in the area was backed up for more than a mile. The mall is about a dozen miles outside the capital’s downtown, where three of the six remaining Republican presidential candidates were holding primary watch parties Saturday night.