Shooting That Injured 8 at Wisconsin Mall Not a Random Act: Police

According to police, the shooting happened just before 3 p.m. at an entrance to a Macy's store at the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, northwest of Milwaukee

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Friday's shooting that injured at least eight people at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, was the result of an altercation and not a random act, police said late in the evening.

According to police, the shooting happened just before 3 p.m. at an entrance to a Macy's store at the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, northwest of Milwaukee.

The suspect remained at large late Friday evening.

When officers arrived, the shooter was no longer at the scene, but first responders discovered seven adults and one teenager wounded, Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said. The victims were hospitalized following the shooting but the extent of their injuries was not immediately known, Weber said.

Police said witnesses reported the shooter was a man in his 20s or 30s, but his identity was not immediately known.

Mayfair Mall was closed following the shooting and will remain closed until through Saturday, police said.

Authorities urged members of the public to stay away from the area as an investigation remained ongoing.

Armed officers, including FBI agents and SWAT members, could be seen in areas outside the mall for several hours Friday afternoon.

The FBI Milwaukee office confirmed it was assisting with the investigation.

Macy's said in a statement it was working with the police department on the investigation.

"We are saddened about the incident tonight at Mayfair Mall, as the safety of Macy’s customers and employees is our top priority," the company said in a statement. "We are working closely with the Wauwatosa Police Department and local officials on this investigation and defer all comments about the case to local authorities per policy."

A witness who works inside the store reported hearing several shots fired.

"I work at Finish Line and I see... I heard a shot fired, but at first we didn't know it was a shot," said Bianca Delos Reyes. "And then everyone was looking around... and then I saw a person fall."

Delos Reyes, who lives in Chicago but was working at the Finish Line inside Macy's to help out, said she and others ran from the building.

"As soon as I got to the parking lot, a lot of people were running right behind me," she said. "I tucked in between cars. We were all just in between cars trying to figure out what was happening. I swear it was more than 10 shots."

The Mayfair Mall was the site of a February shooting in which a city police officer, Joseph Mensah, shot and killed Alvin Cole, a Black 17-year-old. Police said Cole was fleeing from police; Mensah, who is also Black, said he shot Cole because Cole pointed a gun at him. The mall was the target of sporadic protests over several months in the wake of the shooting.

The Milwaukee County district attorney declined to file charges against Mensah, but the city this week agreed to a separation agreement in which Mensah will be paid at least $130,000 to leave the force.

Check back for more on this developing story.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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