BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -- A gunman fatally shot a man in a fight at a crowded mall yesterday, then sent hundreds of Christmas shoppers running for cover as he fired at police that were chasing him, authorities said.
SWAT team members arrested the suspect after he barricaded himself in a department store at the Boynton Beach Mall, north of Miami, said Lieutenant Jeffrey Katz of the Boynton Beach police.
The mall was evacuated, and Katz said it was a miracle no one else was injured when the shooting broke out in midafternoon.
"The suspect ran through the mall and began to fire at officers as they were chasing him through the mall," Katz said. "Our officers did not return fire."
Sinette White, 19, of Lake Worth, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel she heard popping sounds while getting her nails done and then saw a man on the ground.
She said shoppers gathered around the man as police arrived to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but then they heard more shots and police told them to take cover. She said the mall was locked down for about an hour before she and other customers were led out.
The gunman barricaded himself in part of a
Police were questioning two men.
A mall spokesman, Sam Yates, said the shooting was outside of a store in the shopping complex.
It was not immediately clear what started the fight. The names of the victim and the alleged assailant have not been released.
Mall officials said the stores were closed for the rest of the day.
In North Carolina, a man was charged with attempted murder yesterday after a shooting at a Greensboro mall packed with last-minute shoppers a day earlier. One man was critically wounded by gunfire shortly before the Four Seasons Town Centre closed Saturday.
In Columbia, S.C., last week, a motorcycle-riding Santa Claus, John Michael Barton, 55, was arrested after he allegedly grabbed an 8-year-old girl from outside a convenience store.