Active shooter reported at Mayfair mall, at least 8 injured and taken to hospital – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Law enforcement descended on Mayfair mall in Wauwatosa Friday afternoon as reports of an active shooter sent shoppers and employees running for cover.
Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride confirmed an active shooter situation with a suspect who remained “at large.” None of the victims’ injuries appeared to be life-threatening, he said in a statement released to ABC News.
At least eight people were injured and taken to Froedtert Hospital, according to a police officer stationed outside the hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman said Froedtert Hospital and Children’s Wisconsin were notified of a shooting at Mayfair mall shortly after 3 p.m. and both hospitals’ trauma teams were prepared to receive patients. She referred other questions about the number of victims to law enforcement.
Witnesses inside the mall reported hearing multiple gunshots about 3 p.m. that sent people fleeing for the exits or to other locations where they could safely shelter in place. Reporters at the scene and news helicopters captured video of at least four people being loaded into ambulances in the parking lot.
More than 40 police vehicles and 100 officers and agents from local and federal law enforcement — some in tactical gear and holding shields — could be seen outside the mall Friday evening.
The Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office, which handles death investigations, was not called to the mall, indicating no one had died in the incident.
Officials are expected to release more information during a news conference shortly before 6 p.m.
A mall representative who answered the phone earlier Friday afternoon did not release any information or confirm a shooting had taken place, while a Wauwatosa police spokeswoman said she could not yet provide information.
Witness accounts: ‘It was very terrifying’
Two hours after shots rang out, the area around the mall was crowded with law enforcement officers and concerned friends and family members of those who had been inside.
Waseem Dilshad said his uncle was working at a kiosk near Macy’s when he was shot in the leg twice and was not in critical condition.
Dilshad’s cousin was working at the kiosk too and saw the shooting happen. He was on the phone with Dilshad at the time.
“He started cursing and yelling and said, ‘I’m going to call you back, there’s blood everywhere,” Dilshad said.
His uncle was taken to Froedtert Hospital and his cousin remained inside the mall, Dilshad said shortly before 5 p.m.
Cecilia Guerrero, 20, of West Milwaukee, took cover inside the OFFLINE by Aerie store with her sister, Anahi, a family of three and four store associates.
Guerrero said she had been in the locked room since around 2:50 p.m.
“It was very terrifying,” Guerrero said. “I was very nervous at the beginning when we didn’t know what was going on. But now that I’m safe and no one can get in, I’m OK. But it was very freaky and there was some panic.”
Guerrero said even though these shootings are “more common” she didn’t think it would happen there.
Steven Humphries jumped into protective mode when his 21-year-old daughter Nadia called him from work and said there was a shooting at the mall.
“I told her to get low and hide until I got there,” Humphries said. “I could hear the shots. I just took off.”
When Humphries got to the mall his daughter called him on FaceTime hiding in a hallway with others.
“There was quite a few people in the hallway,” Humphries said.
Shooting occurred near Macy’s
Gordon Lugauer was in the back office of his Board Game Barrister store when he heard gunfire.
It was “sudden and abrupt,” he said.
He returned to the front of the store where his staff and about a half dozen customers had dropped to the floor.
No one inside was injured, but he saw multiple people wounded outside his store, on the first floor of the mall near Macy’s.
A person who had been waiting to enter the store because of social distancing rules was shot in the leg. Lugauer and his employees helped the injured person into the store to wait for paramedics.
Morgan Ivy, a 19-year-old from Oak Creek, was eating at the food court, alongside many families with children, when she heard eight shots.
They sounded like “firecrackers,” she said. “Everyone just started running and screaming.”
Ivy ran, too, and got back to her car safely.
Latest in string of shootings
The shooting at the mall marks at least the fourth time this year multiple people have been wounded by gunfire in a single incident in the Milwaukee area.
In February, five workers at MolsonCoors’ Milwaukee brewery were fatally shot by a 51-year-old co-worker who then shot and killed himself.
Two months later, five people were shot and killed inside a Milwaukee home in what police described as an act of family violence. Christopher Stokes called 911 and told a dispatcher he had “just massacred my whole family” with a shotgun, according to court records. Stokes has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
In September, seven people were wounded when a car pulled up to a crowd of about 100 mourners gathering for a funeral on Milwaukee’s north side and someone inside the vehicle opened fire.
The victims — three women and four men — survived their injuries. The funeral was for a recent homicide victim.
Mass shootings typically have been defined by the federal government as an incident having four fatal victims, but other, broader definitions have included shootings with at least four injuries.
The shooting on Friday also is at least the third time gunfire has been reported in or around the mall this year.
In February, Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah shot and killed 17-year-old Alvin Cole in the mall parking lot after police say Cole fired a shot while running from police. Prosecutors did not charge Mensah in the teen’s death and the officer has since signed a separation agreement with the force.
Last month, a person suffered a “self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg” in the parking lot during an incident that appeared to be drug-related, according to Tosa police.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Elliot Hughes, Ricardo Torres, Evan Casey, Steve Martinez, Sarah Hauer, Chris Kuhagen and Joe Taschler of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.