Police say at least nine people were shot to death and at least five others were injured in a shooting at Westroads Mall this afternoon. The shooter apparently shot himself to death.
Creighton University Medical Center confirms two fatalities there; one man and one woman. Another person is in critical condition.
Three victims were taken to the Nebraska Medical Center, one in critical condition with a chest wound. One person has an arm wound and the third was being treated for cuts to the face.
There was an earlier report that someone was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot at the customer service office of Von Maur. It was not initially clear if that was one of the two fatalities confirmed by Creighton University Medical Center.
The mall was locked down as the initial shooting report came out but several people got out of the building shortly after the gunfire and many others followed later.
Law enforcement officers converged on the scene. The police helicopter circled overhead. Members of the Emergency Response Unit were on the scene with guns drawn.
One witness told us she heard approximately 12 gunshots. Other witnesses told us they heard at least that many shots fired.
"Connie", a Westroads shopper we spoke with on the phone, tells us she heard the shots on the third floor of the mall. She said she hid and waited until the gunfire stopped and then crawled out of the building.
Two people were taken into custody near a bus stop but it was not clear if those men were connected to the shootings.
A witness tells us that the shooter pointed a gun over a third-floor railing in the mall and opened fire. That witness says one person was shot in the head.
Two busloads on witness were gathered together as authorities tried to figure out what happened.
Eric, the father of a woman who is a security guard at the mall, got word around 3 p.m. that his daughter was not injured in the incident. She has been on the job for about a year and told her parents she saw one of the victims get shot.
"She called my wife. She was pretty upset," Eric told us.
Witness Chuck Wright says, "I heard this bang, bang, bang. And immediately I just froze."
He says, "As I backed off, I heard bang, bang, again."
Wright says he heard a total of 12 to 15 shots fired.
"It was just panic. Nobody knew what was going on," Wright said.
Wright told us the shootings appeared to be random.
Investigators with canines turned their attention to a maroon van in the parking lot as the situation inside the mall stabilized but it was not clear what caught the attention of the dogs.
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