An officer-involved shooting inside a mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday left one person dead, according to police.
The man (later identified as local rapper Donkey Cartel [real name Daquan Westbrook]) who died was armed, police said. No officers were injured.
“Preliminary information on scene indicates that an argument started inside the mall between two groups of subjects around 2 p.m., at which point officers who were working off-duty at the mall arrived on scene. There was one armed subject that was shot during the altercation and he was pronounced deceased on scene by Medic,” read a statement from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
The shooting happened inside the Northlake Mall.
Before police issued their statement, Shauntelle Hamrick, the manager of the Journeys shoe store, said an altercation led to gunfire and one person getting shot.
Hamrick said she watched as a group of people “ganged up” on a man. During the fight, someone pulled a gun, and a friend of the man was shot.
— Dedrick Russell WBTV (@dedrickrussell) December 24, 2015
It was not immediately clear whether Hamrick was talking about the same man as the one police said died.
Tiffany Archibald, with Medic 911 in Charlotte, said ambulances responded to an incident at the mall involving one patient with a leg injury, one pregnant patient in labor and one patient with an asthma attack. A shopper at a Bebe store on the upper level of the mall told CNN the stores were extremely crowded. Lauren Malone was with her sister and mother in the store, which is above the shoe store, when she heard “boom, boom, boom.”
Employees recognized the sounds as gunshots, locked the doors and escorted shoppers out the back door.
“It was just pure pandemonium, just the frightening look on people faces made me realize this is something serious,” a Macy’s worker at the mall said.
She said the active shooter training she’s been through with Macy’s came in handy.
“The first thing I did was run to the storage unit, the second thing I did was hide in the storage unit, the third thing, If I had to I would have fought,” she said. “I’m shaken up a little bit, I have to admit, but I’m here, I’m just thankful to be alive.”