World News

3 Dead in Shooting at US Shopping Mall

Police in the eastern U.S. state of Maryland say three people were killed in a shooting Saturday at a shopping mall, including the suspected gunman, who appeared to have killed himself.

The mall in the Baltimore suburb of Columbia, Maryland, is just under 50 kilometers north of Washington.

Authorities say they were alerted to the shooting by an emergency phone call in the late morning.

Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon told a news conference the shooting occurred outside of a store on the upper level of the Mall of Columbia near the food court. He said the two people killed by the shooter were employees of the store, one male and one female, both in their 20s.

Media reports have indicated the shooting may have been a domestic incident. McMahon said authorities have no knowledge of that but are investigating. He said the suspect used a shotgun and had a "large amount" of ammunition. Five people were injured, but only one is reported to have suffered a gunshot wound.



Moe Moe Htun , an employee with Voice of America's English Web desk, was at the mall Starbucks with her husband when the shooting took place.



"I heard bang, bang, bang, you know, very, very loudly, three times, and I thought, 'Ohhh, you know, it's from the construction,' because there's construction going on in that parking lot. So it was really, really very loud, and then it sounded like it came just across from where I was standing in Starbucks in the mall. So then, just a few seconds later, there is a lady, and then she was running and then screaming 'someone is shooting!'"



Htun, originally from Burma - also known as Myanmar - described a "chaotic scene."



"People were so scared. You [could] see it on everybody's faces. People were just running out of the mall and then grabbing the hands of their kids, and then, you know, just running out of the mall. People did not look back, just getting out of the mall as fast as you could."



Htun says she and her husband ran out of the mall and hid behind parked cars in case the shooter emerged outside.



"When I started running, I did not think twice, you know, and I did not look back. I just ran, you know. I was so frigthened."



Soon, police were there to help clear people from the mall and announced on Twitter a little more than an hour after the emergency call that the shopping center was believed to be secure.

But that is little consolation to witnesses like Htun, who says she shops at the Columbia mall often.



"Now, I don't feel safe to go to the mall. I mean like, it's like wherever you go, you have to keep your eyes and ears open, and then if you hear something, just don't think twice, just run, you know, because you can be a target."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs