Oklahoma City players were among the people who were evacuated from a local mall after a reported shooting took place on Thursday according to ESPN. The players were at the Penn Square Mall where they were watching a movie. The shooting took place at a Foot Locker at the shopping complex.
"Thunder security was made aware immediately," the Thunder said in a statement. "The team was never in danger and was safe during the entirety of the event."
Oklahoma City police said the shooting was an "isolated incident" as a man allegedly shot another man in the chest. The shooting caused panic at the mall, and the man shot was transported to a local hospital where he's now in critical by stable condition. The suspect fled the scene and police were searching for the suspect at the time.
"Suspect described as black male, grey sweatpants, red underwear exposed above pants, no shirt," Oklahoma City Police said on Twitter. "Was seen fleeing from area of Foot Locker, but unknown where he went from there. Still working to clear the mall. Continue to avoid the area."
On Friday, police were able to arrest the suspect, Elizha Sanders, 24. According to U.S. News and World Report, Sanders was arrested at 2:30 a.m. on Friday. As of now, no formal charges have been filed.
"When the shooting started, there were bunch of people hid in closets, hid in back rooms, locked the stores," Sgt. Kris Gellenbeck said. "So they’re having to go store to store to clear the civilians out and look for the suspect."
The shooting occurred at a time when shoppers are finishing up their Christmas shopping. It was reported the mall would reopen on Friday.0comments
"You know it’s kind of surreal because you don’t really know what to do in that moment," Amari Lafevers said who works at the J.C. Penney inside the mall. "It’s just you don’t really think it will happen to us until it does."
The Thunder were coming off a 126-122 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. It's not clear which film the team was seeing but Steven Adams was seen leaving the mall holding a replica R2-D2 figure. As of Friday, the Thunder have a 13-14 record and they are in seventh place in the Western Conference.