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Mall shooting grabs attention of nation, kills 3

A mall shooting made headlines in Georgia and across the nation when three people were killed in Maryland on Jan. 25. The shooter himself was among those who died. Authorities claim that they found additional ammunition on the shooter along with two explosive devices among his possessions.

Other victims in the shooting, which occurred at The Mall in Columbia, included a 21-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man who worked at a store offering apparel for snowboarders and skateboarders. A mall employee with a hair salon saw the whole scene transpire as she went to the food court. She told media sources that she heard the shots, saw three people fall to the ground and grabbed a child who was nearby. They took off with the mother in close pursuit. She added that she almost passed out from the emotion and fear of the incident and said that people were stampeding and yelling.

Hundreds of shoppers and workers panicked and ran for shelter when they heard the shots fired. Two other women were at a spa when they heard the commotion. As soon as they heard a shooter was on the loose, they went to a nearby store but didn't know if they were safe there. In all the pandemonium, they lost sight of each other. While officers reportedly responded to the scene in two minutes, according to the Howard County police chief, the community was left shaken, and the mall remained closed while police conducted standard sweeps of the building with K-9 units. They claim that they have identified the shooter but are not yet prepared to release his name.

Some individuals seeking to harm others may target malls because they have large crowds and, often, inadequate security. A personal injury lawyer might be able to help clients who have been the victims of a mall attack if it is believed that the mall did indeed lack appropriate security staff or failed to implement measures to safeguard against these increasingly common shootings.

Source: USA Today, "'Crude' devices found in Md. mall shooter's bag", Greg Toppo and John Bacon, January 26, 2014

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