ONE person is in custody, but police are still clearing the mall store-by-store in the search for a second suspect, after a shootout at Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook, a suburb outside Chicago, Illinois.
The Oak Brook Police Department released a photo of the suspect still at large, who was pictured at the mall wearing a blue puffy coat.
Police released an image of a suspect still at large[/caption]
At around 9.15pm Central, Oak Brook Chief of Police James Kruger said in a press conference that one of the people hospitalized was one of two suspects, but another suspected shooter was still believed to be in the mall.
SWAT teams and tactical police forces were still going store-to-store in a search for another suspected shooter and had cleared 30% of the complex at that time.
A man initially taken into custody was a “companion” of one of the shooters.
The suspect who was hospitalized was a male in his 30s, who was shot between three and four times, and underwent a successful surgery.
Three women were also shot, one time each: two women in their 40s and a woman in her 20s.
Another woman was treated for a fractured ankle sustained as she ran from the shooting.
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All of the injuries are non-life-threatening, cops said.
Gopal G. Lalmalani , the Mayor of the Village of Oak Brook, expressed condolences to those who were injured and their families.
“It’s really sad,” Lalmalani said. “My concerns and my prayers go to all of those who are affected. The timing is bad and it’s certainly something that was not expected.”
The shooting broke out around 5.44pm on the east side of the mall near Ann Taylor and Nordstrom, when a group of men had a vocal altercation that escalated into two men shooting at one another.
“We had an officer within earshot who was there and able to respond immediately,” said Chief Kruger.
“This is a very unfortunate incident that is very out-of-character for our area.”
Police recovered two firearms used in the shooting.
Live footage showed some groups being escorted away from Oakbrook Center in the hour following the incident, but groups of people were still visible through windows in other stores.
A witness also told ABC7 that the shooting resulted from an argument that broke out within the mall, though it’s unclear how many parties were involved in the confrontation.
“It was four versus one,” the witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told ABC7.
The witness said that a single man pulled a firearm on four other men involved in the confrontation, but it’s not clear if any bystanders were among those injured.
Earlier in the evening, a Chicago-area police scanner monitoring account reported an active shooter incident at the Oak Brook mall in Illinois.
“Cops all over the place. Swat units,” said one Twitter user who posted a photo of the crowd at the mall.
The local ABC affiliate reported that ambulances, fire trucks and police cars responding to the incident blocked every exit.
Another Twitter user chimed in, saying “My daughter is locked inside Nordstrom. She said the shooter has been caught.”
Witnesses told ABC7 that shoppers “hunkered down” in dressing rooms and back stock rooms, in groups totaling as many as 50 people.
Reports of the incident rolled in on Twitter.
“Oakbrook mall event happened right in front of my girlfriend and I,” said one Twitter user.
“To me, it looked like fireworks/crackers bc I saw a ton of sparks.”
“Just witnessed hella cops and a chopper descend on Oak Brook center at the Nordstroms,” said another.
Helicopter news footage from local affiliates showed shoppers leaving the mall and reuniting with people waiting for them outside the building.
The shooting comes as police scanner monitoring accounts in the Chicago area report a number of shootings within the city, including a number of teenagers who were allegedly shot on Thursday.
The Sun reached out to Oak Brook Police, but additional information is not yet available.
Shoppers were escorted from the building in groups[/caption]
Police were on scene at the mall the day before Christmas Eve[/caption]
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