BALTIMORE -- Three people have been killed in a shooting at a shopping mall in Columbia, a suburb of Baltimore. One of those killed is believed to be the shooter.
The Howard County Police Department reported on Twitter at 12:38 p.m. EST that they were in the shopping center, called the Mall in Columbia, to clear people out safely. "Mall is believed to be secure, but people inside should wait for police," the tweet said.
Police said one of the victims, found near a gun and ammunition, was not identified.
Customers inside the mall said they heard shots and ran. The police department is advising people to avoid the area.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said police would be holding a news conference at the scene shortly to provide more details.
Customers inside the mall are reporting that the mall is in lockdown and some customers have been directed toward the AMC Theater away from the scene of the shooting. Other customers reported hearing gunfire before fleeing the mall.
Fire dispatchers have started planning how to let customers exit the mall in groups. The dispatchers have also requested buses to evacuate the customers.
There is a heavy police presence at the mall with helicopters circling overhead and police officers searching car trunks in the parking lot.