COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Police said Polaris Fashion Place has been cleared after gunshots rang out Monday for the second time in less than two weeks at the shopping center.
No one was injured in the shooting.
Columbus police are still gathering information, but they say the incident took place about 3:15 p.m. and that it involved at least three people in two groups. At least one person fired a weapon, according to police, who recovered several shell casings.
The confrontation took place on the first-floor main concourse and not inside a store. Footage of the incident was caught on surveillance video, which police are reviewing.
Police were working to evacuate the mall of hundreds of shoppers and employees as of 4:50 p.m. Columbus police could not say if any of the people involved in the incident were still inside the mall. As of 6:20 p.m., police tweeted that officers had cleared the scene, but were unsure if the mall would reopen Monday.
According to Columbus Police, witnesses said they saw a group of people arguing in the breezeway of the building when one of the suspects drew a handgun and fired multiple rounds. Witnesses then said all the suspects fled the building.
Columbus Police responded to the scene, as did the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone needed to access the mall Monday night can contact security.
Witnesses told Karina Cheung of NBC4 that they heard shots fired inside the mall. Another witness told Jamie Ostroff of NBC4 that she heard three or four shots in a row.
At 5:27 p.m., Columbus police said anyone who left behind personal belongings on the second floor may come to main entrance to reclaim them. Police were asking anyone who may left personal belongings on the first floor to not come yet.
At 4:09 p.m., Columbus police sent a tweet reading, “Anyone still inside … please exit the mall through a main exit. Officers are in the hallways to assist.”
Police responded to the mall shortly before 3:30 p.m.
This is the second shots-fired incident at Polaris in recent weeks. On March 3, police say two people fired shots at each other at the Carter’s store in the mall. Nobody was injured.
Police are looking for Levon L. Sommerville and Anthony DeShawn Truss on felonious assault charges from that incident. They do not believe the two shootings at Polaris are related.
“We don’t believe it is connected, but obviously, it’s still early into it,” Fuqua said. “We’re not going to rule anything out.”