A shooting Monday evening at the Orland Square Mall in Orland Park left one person dead.
A 19-year-old man was shot outside a clothing store in the mall and the shooter was still at large, Times of Northwest Indiana partner NBC 5 reported. Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy told NBC police were searching the mall.
The victim was taken to the hospital where he died.
Orland Park Deputy Police Chief Joseph Mitchell said at a news conference the victim was shot near the food court, ran down an escalator and collapsed outside the H&M clothing store, NBC 5 reports. Police believe the shooter knew the victim and fled the mall eastbound on foot. He was described as a black male, 6-foot-1 in black clothing and blue jeans.
"I want to reiterate that this was an isolated incident," Mitchell said. "This mall is one of the safest malls in the Chicagoland area. I want to reassure people we're going to use every resource available to find and arrest the individual responsible in this case."
A mall security guard said the 1.2 million-square-foot south suburban mall was closed after the shooting at around 6:45 p.m. and cordoned off "indefinitely, until further notice" while a police investigation into the shooting is underway.
The Orland Park Police Department and the mall owner, Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, did not immediately return messages.
Multiple south suburban police departments, a SWAT team, and the Illinois State Police responded and searched the mall, slowly letting employees and shoppers leave as they looked for the shooter and evacuated the property. People posted on Twitter they were locked in their stores and hiding in clothes racks for safety after gunfire erupted.
One posted a video of police officers tending to a fallen man between a kiosk and a clothing store on the first floor of the mall.
Jay Yasin, 19, of Orland Hills, was working at Build-A-Bear when the shooting happened. She said her “manager shut the door instantly" and they hid in the back room with customers.
Reginald Williams, 23, of Harvey, was "just chilling" in the food court with his friend, 24-year-old Darryl Simmons of Harvey, when the shooting happened.
“We heard gunfire and everyone started scattering,” Williams said.
They ran out of the mall when it happened. They said people were running everywhere and police were running in.
Williams said he wishes everyone would “just stop the violence.”
The two-story mall at 288 Orland Square Drive off South LaGrange Road is a popular destination for shoppers from throughout the south suburbs and Northwest Indiana.
Check back at nwi.com for more updates.