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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs