NEW YORK -- A gunman walked into a lighting company Wednesday and shot two workers, one fatally, before fleeing and prompting the lockdown of a massive shopping mall, schools, and some highway exits east of New York City as police searched for the shooter.
Nassau Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said at a news briefing the suspected shooter was believed to be a “disgruntled ex-vendor” of Savenergy Inc., who had shot the company’s owner and an employee. He did not say which of the victims had died. The second victim was alive but “struggling,” Skrynecki said as police continued to search for the shooter.
Police Det. Vincent Garcia said the male shooter entered the single-story building about 10:10 a.m. and opened fire, then got into a car and drove off. Within about a half-hour, the Roosevelt Field Mall was locked down, with nobody permitted to enter or leave; the shooting had occurred in a smaller separate shopping area.
Police began allowing people to leave the mall about 1 p.m.
Roosevelt Field Mall is in Garden City, NY, on Long Island, about 25 miles east of Manhattan. It has more than 70 specialty stores, as well as a cinema complex and restaurants.
“This is terrifying,” one shopper, Nancy Petrillo, told Newsday. “After what happened in Kenya, everyone is already on edge.”
More than 65 people were killed when terrorists attacked an upscale shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, this week.
“People were running around. It was pretty chaotic. Cops were everywhere and people were running,” Jennifer Haber of Stamford, Conn., told Newsday.
Haber said she was walking from the mall to a nearby hotel when she heard what she thought were gunshots.
“The cops came racing by a minute later and told me to get inside,” she said.