The shooting at Fashion Place Mall: Violence hits close to home

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Shopping malls are a place to go to grab lunch or catch up with some friends to buy a new outfit or shoes, but on Sunday, January 13, 2019 our local mall, Fashion Place Mall, suddenly became mayhem when gunshots rang out at 1:30pm.

Curiosity came about when the fire alarms went off minutes before the shots were heard. According to workers at the mall, this alarm goes off quite often.

A Mrs. Fields employee, Shaylee Mcquiston says, “They go off a lot, so it’s kind of just a normal thing for us. It wasn’t anything that was like too odd.”

“I think it’s a good thing that the alarms went off when they did,” said Kristen Zgorzelski, who works at Albion Fit. She continues, “Yeah, it was a faulty, but I feel like it helped a lot of people get out of the mall quicker because some people like me and my coworker didn’t even hear the gunshots and know what was going on.”

According to AP News, the alarms were falsely going off, but there really was a bigger problem happening. Near the cafeteria a fight broke out between what we now known to be gang members. They ended up taking it down the hall towards Dillards and out into the breezeway where the shots were fired and two people were hurt.

“There was lots of screaming and running,” said Mcquiston, who heard the gunshots from her store.

As mentioned before, Zgorzelski never actually heard the shots fire because they were so focused on the fire alarm.

“Some random man came running by our store about 10 minutes after the fire alarm and told us that people were shot,” continued Zgorzelski. “We were kind of confused at first. He then came running by again and told is that the building was being evacuated and then we locked everything up and went out the doors in the back.”

Zgorzelski and Mcquiston both have very different protocol in emergency situations. Zgorzelski has very specific and detailed instruction in these situations because she has doors that need to be locked and customers that need to be taken in. Mcquiston, on the other hand, doesn’t have doors or a chain to pull down and lock so the only instruction they have is to get out.

As of now, five of the gang members have been arrested. Since this incident, Fashion Place Mall and the local public are left with their eyes more wide open to what needs to be done in emergency situations.

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