WHITEHALL, Pa. (CBS) — The Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall Township went on lockdown around 5 p.m. Saturday, when police received several reports of shots fired on the lower level near Modell’s Sporting Goods.
“We were just ready to leave and I was going to go into the final store, and that’s when we heard three loud gunshots like right in front of us and everybody started scattering,” said Jordan Cannon, who was visiting the mall from The Bronx, New York.
Despite a massive police response led by Whitehall Township, the shooter had still not been located once officers finished clearing the mall hours later.
UPDATE: @Whitehall_PD Chief Michael Marks says there were NO INJURIES after someone fired shots inside @LVMall. Mall is now empty & no one is in custody. Police are looking @ surveillance video & are asking anyone who took cell phone video to call them @ (610) 437-3042 @CBSPhilly
— Trang Do (@TrangDoCBS3) September 20, 2020
“Our primary mission right now is making sure everybody is safe and sound, and that we’re able to reunite people with their families as we go forward here and then find the perpetrators that committed this,” said Chief Michael Marks of the Whitehall Township Police Department.
Marks said investigators are reviewing mall surveillance video in hopes of identifying a suspect or suspects, but that officers did find several shell casings showing evidence of the shooting.
MALL ACTIVE SHOOTER: This is video from our photographer @ the Lehigh Valley Mall, where @Whitehall_PD, @PAStatePolice & @AllentownPolice are responding to reports of an active shooter. Shoppers reported hearing 4 gunshots near the JC Penney & Modell’s just before 5pm. @CBSPhilly https://t.co/UzLc6rV7Rv
— Trang Do (@TrangDoCBS3) September 19, 2020
“We don’t have any description that I can give out right now, but as soon as I have it, you will have it,” he told reporters in a news conference Saturday evening.
There were no reported injuries, but the experience has left people who were in the mall scared and shaken.
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) September 19, 2020
“I’m going to have this embedded fear in my mind, next time I walk out of Charlotte Russe, am I going to be walking down the hall and ‘Bang, bang, bang?’ I can’t get it out of my head,” said shopper Chloe Haasz.
Whitehall Township police are asking anyone who was inside the mall during the shooting to call 610-437-3042 and share any cell phone videos they may have taken with investigators.