PINEVILLE, N.C. — Police said two suspects were shot after they started shooting at each other inside Carolina Place Mall Saturday afternoon, police said.
Officers responded to the mall in Pineville just before 5 p.m.
According to police, two men started shooting and then shot each other.
“This was not random at all. This was a group of people that had a dispute that caused this. It’s not like an active shooter or random event,” police Chief Michael Hudgins said.
Authorities said one man was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance, and the other took himself to the hospital. Police said both their injuries are non-life-threatening.
No one else was hurt in the shootout.
Daryl Sowell and his wife, Tonya Sowell, were in the mall when the gunfire erupted, and they fled to safety.
“We were passing by the kids’ Foot Locker on the second floor. I heard about, I think, it was five shots,” Daryl said.
“Five shots rang out. People started running. The lady at Aerie yelled, ‘Come in; come in,’ so I ran that way,” Tonya added.
Police said no arrests have been made, but they are not looking for any additional suspects.
“It’s very tough ‘cause, frankly, I’m sick of it all, shooting every week. I don’t know what the solution is, but somebody needs to do something,” Tonya said.
The anguish was hardest on parents who got separated from their children.
Detra Poole searched for her 10-year-old daughter, Makyla Jeter, and her daughter’s best friend, Ayala.
“I just started hollering their names,” Poole said. “It was very scary because I couldn’t find the girls. I couldn’t find them.”
“I am only 10 years old, and I went through my first shooting. And if I never found my mom, I don’t know where I would be,” Jeter said. “Today, I thought I was gonna lose my life and didn’t know what was going on, so I just want everybody to stay safe.”
Authorities said the mall was evacuated.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they are assisting Pineville police with the shooting investigation.
No other details have been released at this point. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.