Police agencies are searching for a gunman who fired shots outside the Macomb Mall in Roseville on Sunday afternoon. There were no reported injuries.
Roseville police were called to the mall in the 32000 block of Gratiot Avenue on a report of shots fired just before 1 p.m. Officers were told an altercation occurred between two groups of people, with the verbal altercation escalating as the groups left the mall.
An unidentified male pulled out a firearm and fired several times outside in the parking lot, outside of the Dick’s Sporting Goods store, Police Chief Ryan Monroe said. He said there were no shots in or at the building; and no one was in custody just after 4:30 p.m.
Roseville Mayor Robert Taylor said the mall was immediately evacuated. The suspect’s location was unknown as police arrived on scene.
Officers with help from other agencies secured the mall and checked it, but the gunman had fled.
The investigation is ongoing, with Monroe saying it may take some time to review all the available information. Taylor said police were reviewing video.
Messages were left by the Free Press on mall management and mall security phone lines seeking information.
A manager who answered the phone at Dick’s Sporting Goods said he had no comment. A message on the store phone number later indicated the store was temporarily closed to walk-in business.
A manager at the DXL store at Macomb Mall, which does not have a mall entrance but is near Dick’s Sporting Goods, heard about the shooting through family and friends. The manager said they locked the door after noticing police in the parking lot.
Michelle Sand said she was in the Old Navy store when employees and customers were notified of an active shooter in the mall.
“It was very quiet, too. They didn’t announce it loudly,” the 56-year-old said. “The cashiers, I’m sure they were frightened just as I was, but they just ran to the bathrooms or the back of the store. They never said anything. There were customers that were just kind of looking at each other. There were children and whatnot.”
Sand said either security or the store manager closed the store gates and told customers they could stay in the store or leave. Sand said she decided to run out before the gates were completely down.
“It kept going through my mind, the little kids that were just in the Uvalde (school shooting) being blocked in,” she said. “My gut feeling was telling me it was better to try to get out then to be locked in there if somebody’s walking up because we didn’t know what type of situation it was, do they have a big assault rifle or what it possibly was.”
Sand, a grandmother with seven grandchildren and an eighth on the way, said she ran as fast as she could to get to the parking lot and her car. She said she came across a few people, including an older couple who was mall walking, and told them to get out. She said some people walking the mall didn’t know what was going on.
“So I told anybody that I saw: ‘active shooter, get out’ as I was running, and then I just went to my car, and I thought I don’t know if they’re in the area or whatever. So, I left the area,” she said.
She said police were swarming the area as she drove down Gratiot. Sand said she was scared and hoped no one was hurt.
“I came home, and I was trembling. I called my daughter,” she said. “I started to cry and just like ‘Thank you God that I’m safe’ but I just was praying that everyone is safe and that no one got hurt.”
Sand said the mall, which has been upgraded, is the closest one to her and “never in my mind did I ever think this might be a shady place to be going. It never crossed my mind.” She also never thought she’d find herself in this type of situation. She said she will have to see what the circumstances were in helping her decide if she returns to the mall again.
A tweet from the Macomb County Public Alerts at 2:16 p.m. stated police were searching and evacuating stores at the mall and asked the public to avoid the area. It also stated police were searching for a male wearing black pants and black shoes, with a shirt with a colorful D design on the back, as a person interest.
Officers from St. Clair Shores, Fraser, Eastpointe and Clinton Township assisted Roseville police.
Anyone with information is asked to call Roseville police at 586-775-2100.
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Contact Christina Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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