Hiding, crying, running — worker describes Durham mall chaos amid report of gunfire

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Although it appears a report of gunfire at a Durham mall Sunday afternoon turned out to be false, the incident frightened many people as they hid, ran, and cried from the rumored gunshots.

The incident was reported around 3:10 p.m. at the Streets of Southpoint mall, which is at the Interstate 40/Fayetteville Road interchange.

Durham police later said there was no gunfire, but that was after many people fled the mall and were “traumatized” by the incident, one witness said.

Police said there were several minor injuries as people evacuated in a frenzy.

A worker at a mall restaurant said people were knocking over tables, crying, and then hiding when they could not escape during the incident.

“There was a lot of running, a lot of crying — you hear people taking cover and just everybody jumping in their car and leaving, there was so much going on,” said Jamie Foster, who works at Maggiano’s.

He said the reports of gunfire led to pandemonium in his restaurant.

“I just heard a lot of loud banging on the tables, people pushing over the tables and ducking, just yelling ‘shooting’ — it was traumatizing,” Foster told CBS 17 reporter Sean Cudahy.

He said the restaurant workers tried to evacuate the eatery but were unable to get everyone out.

“Everybody that could not get out immediately we got them in the closet and made sure everything was good,” Foster said. “We got like a beer cooler (also) that they can hide in — we just make sure everyone is safe.”

Foster said that he saw children crying and the entire incident was “traumatizing.”

“The mall is supposed to be a place where you can just chill with your family, relax, have a good time but stuff like this happening, it’s so traumatizing,” Foster said.

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