Police in Lexington, Kentucky, have evacuated a mall and are conducting searches throughout each store after officers confirmed a shooting took place inside the building and patrons started a stampede toward the exits after hearing gunshots.
At 4pm, police urged the public to keep clear of the area surrounding Fayette Mall after law enforcement officials received reports of gunfire and a possible active shooter.
But a little more than an hour later, Lexington police tweeted: ‘THIS IS NOT AN ACTIVE SHOOTER.’
Cops surrounded the mall which was put on lockdown as shoppers were told to shelter in place, while locals have been told to avoid the area.
Video posted to social media by mall patrons show a long line of people calmly file out of the building through what appears to be a side emergency exit.
As the customers leave the building, they walk out toward the parking lot and front entrance, where they notice a heavy police presence.
Several fire department vehicles were also spotted at the scene.
There were unconfirmed witness reports that an unidentified man was shot in the head during the incident, according to WLEX-TV.
Another reports that they saw someone being carried out on a stretcher.
Two witnesses, Alicia Spurlock and Brandon Powell of Jackson County, said they were inside the mall when they heard 8 or 9 gunshots.
That’s when people started running, they said.
‘We just heard multiple gunshots,’ Spurlock told the Lexington Herald Leader.
‘It took me a minute to register what that was. Everybody just started running.’
Powell was in the men’s room when a woman barged in and told him what was happening.
‘She said, “I’m sorry, but somebody is shooting”,’ he said.
This story will be updated pending further developments.