Officials say seven adults and a teenager were wounded in the shooting, which drew a swarm of both local and federal law enforcement. Earlier, police could not say if the suspect was still in the mall. Authorities said at about 6 p.m. that the extent of the victims’ injuries was unknown.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted his wishes for a “full and speedy recovery” for the victims and offered “our support for the entire Wauwatosa community as they grapple with this tragedy.”
Some people were trapped inside the giant mall complex for hours. Dozens of vehicles remained in the mall’s parking lots into the evening, a cruiser with lights and sirens blocking every entrance from area roads. They were part of a massive response that included the FBI.
“We will continue to work diligently to interview the many witnesses, as well as the victims who were injured, to identify and apprehend the suspect,” the Wauwatosa police department tweeted, adding that the mall would be closed Saturday.
Shopping centres are an example of “soft targets” vulnerable to shootings — places where large crowds gather with relatively low security. Last year’s deadliest mass shooting unfolded at an El Paso Walmart, killing 23 people.