Police say mall in Middletown evacuated after gun discharges into floor

MIDDLETOWN, New York (WABC) -- Reports of gunfire led to evacuation of holiday shoppers at a mall in Orange County Sunday.

It was a frightening scene as police charged into the Galleria at Crystal Run Mall in Middletown after a shot was fired and stores went into lock down - even Santa was sent home early.

It happened at 3 p.m. during the height of post-Thanksgiving shopping. One shot was fired from inside the mall.

"It appears that one male who was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and grey pants discharged one round from a handgun into the floor on the second level of the mall in front of the American Eagle store," said Wallkill Police Chief Robert Herman.

Eyewitness News is told that a 49-year-old mother and her 12-year-old son, both from Goshen, New York were standing nearby and suffered minor abrasions, perhaps as the bullet ricocheted or perhaps as pieces of the floor flew up. Both the mother and her son were treated and released.

Detectives believe the gunman was at the mall with a woman pushing a baby stroller.

One jewelry store owner says he stayed late so police could go through his surveillance video.

"They had to burn it from DVR - wouldn't let us see what they saw," says jewelry store owner Dilip Amarnani.

Officials report thousands of shoppers were evacuated quickly and without incident. However, about six hours later, half a dozen people were still hiding out in one store - they were all allowed home.

Wallkill Police are not yet ready to call this an 'accidental shooting,' but are breathing a big sigh of relief that this did not turn into a mass killing.
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