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Police now say man flashed gun inside Southlake Mall, not outside

Police now say man flashed gun inside Southlake Mall, not outside

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STOCK Police - Police line

HOBART — An alleged brandishing of a firearm which police now say occurred inside, not outside, Southlake Mall on Saturday afternoon stemmed from a conversation between people who knew each other, authorities said.

As of Tuesday, detectives were still investigating and searching for any possible video of a potential suspect, said Hobart police Lt. Nicholas Wardrip.

Hobart police first responded to the mall after 1 p.m. Saturday upon receiving a report that a man had waved a firearm.

Police originally reported the incident took place outside the mall. 

Officers spoke to at least two witnesses, who told police it happened at or near an escalator, Wardrip said.

"It appears as though it was an incident where individuals recognized each other and had words. It does not appear to be a random event," Wardrip said.

Police searched for the suspect but that person had left in a vehicle by the time they arrived. A vehicle description was not provided to police, Wardrip said.

A witness who asked to remain anonymous told The Times she was taking an escalator downstairs when someone at the bottom of the staircase exchanged words with three men riding in front of her, then pulled out a gun.

At one point, the witness said, one of the men got behind her on the escalator, leaving her between him and the other two men as the suspect pointed the weapon.

The witness said she then ran into a nearby store once the escalator got to a lower floor and took shelter there.

The mall's management office declined to comment or answer The Times' questions.

Anyone with more information was urged to contact the Hobart police Detective Bureau at 219-942-1125.


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