The Ann Arbor Police Department first received calls of multiple shots being fired inside the Von Maur store of Briarwood Mall around 3 p.m Friday, according to Ann Arbor Chief of Police Michael Cox. As of 4 p.m. Friday, there is not an active shooter situation but police are advising that people avoid the area.
No suspects are in custody and their whereabouts are unknown, Cox told reporters Friday around 5 p.m.
“This does not appear to be a random event, however, it is an active scene currently and we are still trying to clear some of the stores, ” Cox said.
Cox said there is one male victim with non-life-threatening injuries, who according to MLive was taken to Michigan Medicine in stable condition. When asked to confirm that a victim was transferred to the hospital, Beata Mostafavi, a spokesperson from Michigan Medicine, directed The Daily to AAPD.
According to Eastern Michigan University student Matthew Katz, who was inside the mall at the time of the shooting, he was told by a mall security officer to hide, which he did for about 25 minutes before leaving the mall. At Friday 5 p.m, police were still working on exiting customers from the mall store-by-store. The mall remains closed, with state police guarding entry points with assault rifles.
Those at the mall described confusion as the situation unfolded.
EMU sophomore Tyler Burkhardt was visiting a friend working at the Van’s store when they said they heard a noise that sounded like balloons popping. Burkhardt said they then saw numerous police officers rush into the building and tell them to evacuate the area.
“My brain didn’t exactly register it at first and nobody around me really did until people were screaming and stuff, saying they needed help,” Burkhardt said. “Next thing I experienced were police pulling out rifles and stuff like that, the mall security pouring into the mall. Everybody just running, and then a security mall cop looked me in my eyes and told me to run, so I just ran.”
University of Michigan LSA junior Cassandra Menzies was at the Forever 21 store in the mall at the time of the shooting with four friends. Though she didn’t see or hear any shots fired, she said she began to wonder if something had happened when employees started closing the storefront — even though the store was not expected to close — and ushering them to the check-out area.
After being checked out, Menzies and her friends were brought outside through the back exit of the store, where they could then walk to their car and leave the mall. As they were waiting to leave, they began checking Reddit, but she said they could not find any information until she saw a post saying there was a shooting. Employees appeared to have as much information on the situation as they did, she said.
“I kind of wasn’t super comfortable leaving because we all thought it was an active shooter or something,” Menzies said. “I was more just nervous because nobody knew what was going on. I wasn’t totally afraid, but I think anxious is a good way to describe it.”
AAPD is asking anyone with additional information to call them at 734-794-6920 or contact the tip line at 734-996-3199.
This is a developing story, check back at michigandaily.com for updates.
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