Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia police are looking for two suspects in connection with a shooting inside the Columbiana Mall on Harbison Saturday that frightened thousands of people but left no one injured.
Columbia Police Chief William Holbrook the incident began with a fist-fight around 7 p.m. Holbrook said his officers believe several people were involved in a struggled outside Kay Jewelers, which is near the food court. During the fight, two of the participants pulled out guns and fired shots into the air.
Police say they have not found anyone who was shot inside the mall, and local hospitals and clinics have not reported anyone coming with gunshot injuries.
Surveillance footage captured two men running from the premises. Holbrook said a third person was seen on video, but officers believe he was trying to break up the scuffle, and he will not be charged.
Police said they got multiple reports from people who believed they spotted them. "We've had a few calls of people in a woodline, and we're running all those down," Holbrook said.
Lori Easterwood, an employee of WLTX-TV, said she was in Claire's boutique when employees heard the shots. Employees then closed the store and ushered everyone into a back room. Law enforcement later told her to leave the building, and she was allowed to go into her car.
"There were about 12 to 15 officers in our area," Easterwood said.
Holbrook said that even by 9 p.m., there were still people believed to be hiding in stores, fearful for their safety.
Another woman said on Twitter that police had set up a perimeter around the building. She said people were being frisked, and everyone had police escorts.
Holbrook said his officers would stay out until the early morning hours to process evidence. He said he expected the mall to be open Sunday.