Police are seeking a gunman who shot and killed two teens at a Northern California mall in the midst of Black Friday, sending shoppers running for safety, reports the Associated Press. Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento was evacuated shortly after 6 p.m. when shots were fired near one of the mall’s entrances, said police spokesman Karl Chan. A 19-year-old man was found dead at the mall and a 17-year-old boy was found critically wounded at a bank outside of the mall. He was taken to the hospital and died several hours later.
Workers said they heard up to a dozen shots. “Heard a couple of shots go off, didn’t really think anything of it,” Antwon Martinez said. “And more and more kept going off, so everyone started running toward our back room.”
The coronavirus pandemic kept crowds thinner than usual on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Chan said the shooting appeared to be a targeted, isolated attack. Gun assaults and homicides have surged in the California capital, as well as in Los Angeles and other cities. About 40 homicides have been reported this year. “We are deeply concerned by the increase in gun violence in Sacramento and other cities during the pandemic, and have supported increasing our efforts to reach young people at risk,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg tweeted. “A gun is never the answer.”