South Carolina mall emptied after shots reported, police say | Reuters

A search was underway at a shopping center on the outskirts of the South Carolina state capital on Saturday after reports of gunfire in the busy mall, but there was no active shooter on the scene, local police said.

Officers were evacuating the Columbiana Centre mall, about 10 miles northwest of the State House in downtown Columbia, and talking with potential witnesses, the Columbia Police Department said on its Twitter account. A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter was assisting in the operation.

Police Chief William "Skip" Holbrook said the incident began inside the mall with a fistfight involving three men. He told reporters during a nighttime news conference that two people then pulled out firearms and fired into the air before fleeing.

Holbrook said people were still being evacuated from the mall by 9 p.m. local time, and some people were still sheltered in place inside the center. He said there were no reports of any injuries and no one was in custody.

Earlier, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin sent a Tweet on his account reading: "Urgent! Report of an active shooter at Columbiana Center Mall. Please avoid the mall and Harbison Blvd if possible."

The reports of gunfire came soon after the polls closed in South Carolina's Republican presidential primary, but there was no known connection between the voting and events at the mall.

(Reporting By Frank McGurty in New York and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Feb 21, 2016 10:45 AM

Also Watch

Watch: Firstpost test rides the new Thunderbird 500X in Goa and walks you through the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Varun Dhawan on Shoojit Sircar's October, 5-star reviews and working with Anushka Sharma in Sui Dhaaga
  • Saturday, April 14, 2018 Ambedkar Jayanti: Re-visiting Babasaheb's ideals exposes fake Dalit politics of Rahul Gandhi and Congress
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See