Tis the Season for Mall Shootings?

Tis the season for a mall shooting?  As shoppers across America prepare to deck the halls and find that ugly sweater for the holiday party, there have been a disturbing amount of increased violence at the mall.  Specifically, there have been rising incidents of mall shootings.  From Oregon to right here in our own little Orange County, CA bubble, there have been disturbing incidents where people have grabbed their gun and hit the mall.

In our own little suburban oasis in Orange County, a gunman opened fire outside of a Macy's at the Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach.  Shooting over 50 bullets, shoppers went running to take cover.  For hours, there were shoppers trapped inside department stores as the police obtained control over the situation.  The mall was completely evacuated.  And the next day, shoppers continued undeterred.

What Do You Do in a Mall Shooting?

Incidents like this call to question how you can protect yourself in a violent situation.  What do you do if someone walks into a mall and opens fire?  According to the local Newport Beach police department, shoppers are encouraged to do the following:

  • run away
  • take shelter and hide
  • call 911 from a safe place
  • do not attempt to subdue the shooter
Thankfully, in our own local mall shooting, armed police officers subdued the suspect quickly.  However, as the mall was searched, cleared, and evacuated, shoppers waited in fear for nearly 2 hours inside stores. 

What Should Be Done in the Future?

The shooting has prompted many Orange County community members to speculate about how we might be able to prevent future violence.  Recommendations have centered upon more roving police in the parking lots, a heavier security presence, and even weapon sniffing dogs.  This mall in particular was down the street from the police department in an affluent area, a regular destination for on duty police officers.  Perhaps a regular and heavier presence is going to be required during the holiday season to ensure shoppers' safety.

In this case, the only injuries were to a woman who was knocked down as shoppers fled. But shoppers who become injured in these situations may have a premises liability claim against the mall.  Injured shoppers are encouraged to call an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine whether they have a case.