According to Winston-Salem police, one person was shot inside of the mall. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital.
Officers swept the mall, and the mall was evacuated.
At about 1:52 p.m., officers responded to the scene, according to Lt. Knight of the Winston-Salem Police Department.
In a post on Twitter, Winston-Salem police did not mince words: “THERE IS NO ACTIVE SHOOTER THREAT.”
Police say the incident began with a conflict between two people with guns inside the mall. They say the situation escalated, and a male suspect shot the victim in the upper right arm.
Police have identified the victim as male but have not released the victim’s age.
Winston-Salem City Council member told FOX8 the victim ran to the Golden Corral across the parking lot to get help after the shooting.
People inside the mall at the time of the shooting say they heard at least six shots, and people in the mall started scrambling to find a place to hide.
Shay Jacobs, who has worked in the food court for 12 years, said this was not the first incident of gun violence she’s encountered in Hanes Mall. When she heard the gun go off, she immediately recognized the sound.
“I was probably one of the last ones to get out because I know the mall inside and out,” Jacobs said. “I was just going through the back hallways to get everybody out because people didn’t know how to get out. People were hiding in the stores, couldn’t get out. They didn’t have a back door, so I showed them how to get out safely.”
Law enforcement has tried to curb violence at the mall in the past.
In December 2020, Winston-Salem police and Forsyth County sheriff’s deputies upped security at Hanes Mall, patrolling the area together for the first time to present a unified front against crime in the area. In addition to hired mall security, off-duty deputies were stationed at some of the main entrances, while officers patrol inside and outside the mall.
A month earlier, in November 2020, a juvenile was struck in the face by a bullet that ricocheted off of the concrete at the mall. The shooting reportedly happened in the mall parking lot near J.C. Penney. Officers identified three juveniles who fled the scene on foot during the shooting. No one was charged.