Pennsylvania mall evacuated after reports of gunfire; threat neutralized, police say

Authorities on Sunday closed down a shopping mall in southeastern Pennsylvania amid reports of a shooting incident.

Police and several ambulances responded Sunday afternoon to calls about a shooting at the Park City Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, about 70 miles west of Philadelphia. Police said the mall would be closed until Monday.

Lancaster Online, citing a dispatch report, said as many as six people were hospitalized with injuries, two of them with gunshot wounds, and that two suspects were in custody.

In a late-afternoon update posted online, the Lancaster Police Bureau said “the shooting did not result in any life-threatening injuries,” but did not address other injuries. The statement didn’t mention any arrests either, though it said the scene was secure.

Authorities haven’t disclosed what precipitated the shooting.

Hana Ali, 57, told Lancaster Online an argument erupted between four people near Tabarek Al-Hana, the food store she co-owns with her sister.

When the argument turned into a scuffle, a man in the group pulled out a gun and threatened some of the others, then had the weapon knocked out of his hand. Another man then got on top of him and shot him, Ali said, adding that a second man was also shot.

“Everything went so fast. We were scared so we were hiding behind my register,” Ali told Lancaster Online, which said Ali and her sister gave statements to the police.

Anthony Colon, a 19–year-old manager on duty at the Rue 21 women’s clothing store, told the York Daily Record that he initially heard two gunshots and froze.

Then he ran to the front of the store, pulled down the gate and ushered a dozen people into a back room, where they created a barricade and grabbed makeshift defense weapons like hammers and screwdrivers.

Colon said the employees and customers at Rue 21, just five stores away from the shooting site, stayed “dead silent” and waited for what “felt like years” before being cleared to leave.

Lancaster, the seat of a county by the same name in south-central Pennsylvania, has a population of about 60,000 and is the heart of the state’s Amish Country. The mall’s website says more than 150 stores make up the shopping area.

This news is developing into the evening: For an update later tonight, sign up for the Evening Briefing.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Shooting incident prompts Pennsylvania authorities to close down mall