2 Injured, Gunman Dead After Thanksgiving Day Alabama Shopping Mall Shooting

Two people are injured and a gunman is dead after a shooting at a mall in Alabama Thanksgiving night, authorities said.

The incident at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover began with a physical altercation between an 18-year-old and the 21-year-old gunman in the mall near the Footaction and JC Penney stores.

The gunman reportedly opened fire and shot the 18-year-old, who police "do not believe" was armed, in the torso twice around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. An officer confronted the gunman as he ran away from the scene and fatally shot him, said Hoover police Cast. Gregg Rector.

A 12-year-old girl was also struck and injured, Rector said, but it's unclear by whom. The two injured people have been hospitalized. The girl had a single gunshot wound and has gone through surgery and "does not have life-threatening injuries," Rector said.

He said that the 18-year-old has at least one gunshot wound and "We believe he is in serious condition."

The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave while the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office investigates.

Two separate rings of gunshots could be heard inside the mall by witnesses, who described the scene as chaotic with customers screaming and mall staff working to lock down the center, which the Hoover Police Department said is now secure.

Witness Debbie Woods told CBS 12 that she heard shots while shopping at a nearby jewelry kiosk. "It was bang bang, then it was terrifying. Everybody started screaming and running," she said.

Another shopper taking advantage of the Thanksgiving day sales, Molly Graham, said she ran out of Macy's as fast as she could. "There's just people everywhere and cars trying to leave," she said. "It was really scary."

"We are working closely with the Hoover Police Department and are grateful for their swift action to contain the situation," said Lindsay Kahn, a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties, which owns the shopping center. "While there is no current danger to our community, the shopping center will remain closed for tonight."

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Mall security confirmed to WBRC that the shopping center would re-open at 6 a.m. on Friday.

Hoover is about 10 miles from Birmingham.