Shoppers and Employees Fled, Hid

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Omaha, Neb. (AP) Holiday shoppers were sent running and screaming in fear at an Omaha shopping mall, after a man opened fire Wednesday.

One man says he heard four or five rapid shots, and first thought they were from a nail gun being used in construction work at the mall. Shawn Vidlak says when people “started screaming about gunshots,” he grabbed his wife and kids and “got out of there” as fast as they could.

A woman who was shopping at the Von Maur Department store with her 4-year-old daughter says she hid in a dressing room with four other shoppers and an employee. She says her “knees rocked.” She says, “I didn't know what to do, so I just ran with everybody else.''

One Von Maur employee says he heard a burst of five to six shots, and then 15 to 20 more rounds. Keith Fidler says he huddled in the corner of the men's clothing department with about a dozen other employees until police yelled to get out of the store.

Another employee describes it as “general panic.” she says, “everybody was scared, and we didn't know what was going on.”

When the gunfire was over, police say, nine people were dead, including the gunman -- who apparently took his own life. Five others were wounded.

Shortly after the shooting, a group of shoppers came out of the building with their hands raised. Some still held shopping bags.

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