At least seven adults and one teen were injured when a gunman released gunfire at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa near Milwaukee on Friday, according to the Wauwatosa police. Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber, at a news conference on Friday evening, said investigators are yet to identify the suspect who is currently at large.
“Preliminary statements from witnesses indicate that the shooter is a white male in his 20s or 30s,” Weber said. “Investigators are working on determining the identity of that suspect.”
However, the police in a Facebook post said initial investigations revealed that the shooting was not a random act by a gunman on a killing spree but may have resulted from a dispute. The statement revealed that investigators were interviewing witnesses and the injured to ascertain the actual cause of the incident.
The Facebook post also assured residents that the shopping mall has been cleared and is secured. Law enforcement agents were at the scene through the late hours of the night to analyze clues that would be critical to the investigation.
Weber added that when officers got information about the shooting and mobilized to the crime scene, the shooter had already escaped. He explained that the victims of the shooting were seven adults and one teenager, who have since been admitted to the hospital. He noted that the extent of their injuries was yet to be ascertained but that everybody was alive, and there was no report of any death.
Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride spoke to CNN, confirming the statement by Weber that the suspect was yet to be apprehended. He said that about 75 polices have been stationed at the crime scene. He added that none of the victims posed injuries that can be termed life-threatening.
The FBI posted a tweet saying its agents were on the ground at the scene to offer tactical support to local law enforcement agents. There were heavy police and EMT presence at the scene. A local news outlet reported that at least five people could be seen laid out in stretchers to be moved to ambulances.
A certain Austin Seybold, 24, was a witness during the shooting. He said he was in the back room of the mall when he heard employees and other customers running frantically past the store. Later on, six employees gathered about a dozen customers at the store, took them to the back, and locked the front gate. They were there in the backroom for over two hours before a SWAT team took them to safety.
The management of Mayfair Mall in a Facebook post revealed they would be closing shop on Saturday, November 21. The post indicated they were disheartened and horrified at the traumatic experience that customers and tenants at the shopping mall were subjected to. They thanked the Wauwatosa Police Department for its swift response and promised to cooperate with the investigating team.