CONCORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – One suspect has been hospitalized, and two other suspects are in custody following an officer-involved shooting Wednesday at the Concord Mills mall.
The incident began Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 31, when police said someone called 911 saying their credit card had been stolen while inside the mall.
After a witness described the suspects, officers were able to locate three of them, as they matched the description given. As two Concord officers approached the three suspects, the group ran away inside the mall.
Authorities said one of the three pulled out a handgun. Both Concord police officers gave multiple commands to ‘drop the weapon,’ authorities said.
Instead of complying, one of the suspects reportedly fired at least one round at one of the officers.
The two Concord officers chased after the armed suspect into a construction area inside the Concord Mills mall, where they said the suspect fired another shot, with the bullet striking the ground in front of an officer. Both officers returned fire, striking the armed suspect.
A lockdown was put in place at roughly 12:40 p.m.
“My husband went to go put stuff out in the car, and then a big alert came on the intercom and said it was a code red, that this was not a drill,” said Kaitlan Ripple, who was at the mall during the shooting.
“I just had to explain to him and the other little boy that was there, ‘hey, there’s an emergency happening. If mommy says we have to play the quiet game, we have to be quiet,’” said Ashley N’da, who was also inside the mall during the shooting.
The injured suspect was provided aid at the scene, was taken to Atrium Health Medical Center and was last listed in critical condition, police said.
The two other suspects involved were located by Concord PD outside the mall and taken into custody.
With the assistance of the NC SBI, we are currently investigating an officer involved shooting at Concord Mills Mall. The scene is secure at this time and there is no danger to the public. More details will follow.Concord, NC Police
Concord Mills security told Queen City News that everyone was being advised to ‘stay away from the windows’ and all gates were closed.Evacuations from the Concord Mills mall began Wednesday afternoon.
Concord Police said the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is now handling this incident.
“This incident frightened a lot of people at the mall,” an officer with Concord PD said on Wednesday. “The Concord Mills mall has policies and plans in place for terrible situations like this.”
Authorities said one of the Concord officers involved has been with the department for about two years. The second officer involved has been with the department for just several months.
The identities of the three suspects and two officers involved have not yet been released.
Concord Police said they’re looking for anyone who may have video of the incident. Those who may have footage are asked to call SBI at 980-781-3000.
Concord Mills mall said Thursday they will be open for their normal operating hours 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
History of violence
In July 2021, Concord Mills managers made some changes to mall security following a string of violent fights and shootings that occurred at the mall, one resulting in a young girl’s death in 2019.
Anyone younger than 18 years old was told they would need a parent with them on the mall property over the weekends; otherwise, they could face charges.
Concord’s police chief said in 2021, the move would help cut down on the violence.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.