SAN JOSE, Calif. - Police officers on Tuesday continued their search for two suspects wanted in connection to a shooting at a San Jose mall.
Shots rang out Monday evening inside Westfield Oakridge, sending shoppers in a frenzy. But less than 24 hours after the incident, it was business as usual as shoppers rushed to find deals and must-have items.
"It’s not going to make me stay away, forever. I mean, unfortunately, it’s kind of how things are in the world right now. Especially at Christmas time," said shopper Teri Burke.
Witnesses said Monday that a fight between two people outside a Forever 21 escalated. One of the combatants grabbed a gun and then fired several shots. The sound of gunfire panicked the crowd, estimated at 5,000 people. Some people hid inside retail storage rooms for safety.
"Officers formulated a plan and went into the mall to ascertain what was occurring. We did not locate any shooting victims," said Sgt. Christian Camarillo, a spokesman for the San Jose Police Department.
Investigators confirmed shots were fired, and shell casings found at the scene were evidence of the crime. But they are still in the dark as to who was fighting, and who fired the gun.
"When a situation evolves that happened like last night, it’s pretty traumatizing for the community. We understand that we’re sensitive to that," said Capt. Jason Dwyer.
He said the department is rotating foot patrols inside the mall during business hours through Christmas.
"The first thing we want them to see when they come in here over the next few days are our police officers. We want them to feel comfortable, and know that they’re safe," said Dwyer.
Many shoppers said one of the most coveted gifts this holiday season is also one of the hardest to find: A sense of security, in an increasingly insecure world.
"It’s almost like I don’t want to be a hermit inside my house, afraid to go anyplace," said Burke.
San Jose police detectives ask anyone who may have seen the two suspects running from the scene to call them. Anonymous tips are also encouraged.