DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham police found themselves called to the second frenzied evacuation of the city’s major mall in just over one month when three people were shot and three others were wounded as they tried to flee danger on Black Friday.
The shooting Friday – that was on the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving – came after a shooting last month caused the evacuation of The Streets of Southpoint Mall in late October.
But, the Friday afternoon incident left six people injured, including a 10-year-old child who was among those shot, after two groups got into an argument and shots were fired. The two groups knew one another, but it is unclear as of Friday night whether the child was a part of either group.
In the Oct. 24 incident, no one was shot and police later said a loud noise triggered a wild run for the exits that injured a few people, including a pregnant woman who was trampled.
Additionally, records show 2021 is already the deadliest year in Durham with 43 homicides in the city.
Durham police chief Patrice Andrews held a news conference about two hours after the shooting Friday.
“Shootings in this city have got to stop. Gotta stop. It’s got to stop,” Andrews said in the news conference in which she took questions from reporters.
One reporter asked what Andrews planned to do to stop the shootings immediately.
“What we have continued to do, we have continued to provide security here for the mall. But not just for the mall — for all of our residents,” Andrews said. “We have worked with all of our federal partners to identify these individuals that are bent on coming to our community and wreaking havoc. We will be sending them to federal prison.”
One person was detained after the Friday mall shootings, but several people involved got away, police said.
Andrews said there are several people who are linked to the shooting who they want to interview. She confirmed there were “many witnesses”.
“We will be making several arrests in the course of this investigation,” Andrews said.
She added that a gun was found following the shooting.