1 wounded in Omaha mall shooting that sends shoppers running

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Shots rang out in an Omaha mall, leaving a 21-year-old man critically wounded and sending shoppers running for cover.

Omaha police Officer Joe Nickerson said the suspects were believed to have fled the scene, though officers were searching Westroads Mall as a precaution.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that one of its reporters heard screams around noon and saw a crowd of people running away from the main section of the mall.

People in the food court then abandoned their meals and joined the throng headed toward the exit.

“It was shocking,” said Alyha Wills, who was in Forever 21 with her sister when other shoppers asked if she’d heard the shooting.

She then fled, saying, “I could hear it; it was close.”

This is the second reported shooting at Westroads Mall in a little more than a month. Omaha Police Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck was shot at four times by a 21-year-old man who was accused of shoplifting T-shirts from J.C. Penney. Wittstruck survived.

The J.C. Penney is about 200 feet from Von Maur , where a gunman killed eight people and himself in 2007.

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