BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have made several arrests after, they said, a man was shot at the Town Center at Boca Raton, sending the victim to the hospital and causing pandemonium inside the mall.
Wednesday night, 7News cameras captured a heavy police presence after officers blocked off an entire area of the shopping center, located at 6000 Glades Road.
“We were on our way out. We were exiting through Macy’s, and that’s when we heard like a really big banging sound,” said Victoria Calzada, a mall shooting witness.
Calzada was leaving the mall around 7 p.m., when gunshots rang out.
“We saw the groups of people start running, so obviously we followed and ran out the mall as well,” she said.
Chris Figura, a sales associate at Williams Sonoma, had one word to describe the incident.
“It was scary,” he said.
In a tweet posted at around 7:20 p.m., Boca Raton Police confirmed a shooting investigation was underway inside the mall.
“I was just ringing up a customer, and then I just heard a loud pop right in front of our store,” said Figura.
Figura said he ducked as he heard the gunfire.
“The lady I was ringing up ducked, too, and I just told everybody to run to the back because I already knew it was gunshots,” he said.
Figura said the shooting took place a few feet from the store’s entrance.
“I really didn’t see anything, really, except people scatter when it initially happened,” he said.
Figura said he and everyone who was inside Williams Sonoma hid in a back storage room.
“I just took everybody to the back, locked the doors and just stayed there until everything was safe to leave,” he said.
One person was shot inside of the mall. The suspects then took off in a getaway car.
In a tweet sent just after 7:45 p.m., police said, “It is not necessary to shelter in place. There is no active threat.”
Police said they detained a few people who may be considered suspects in this case.
The shooting caused panic inside the mall.
“I just wanted to make sure that everyone was OK. I felt bad,” said Figura. “There was this little girl, she was probably like 8, she was like in tears, but her dad was there. Everyone was pretty calm.”
“There was at least 20 cop cars that were coming at that time the pursuit had started,” said Calzada.
Calzada said she was driving near the scene when one of the fleeing subjects slammed into the back of her car at an intersection.
“At the time, my car was at a complete stop, and he full on crashed us and T-boned us,” said Calzada. “My car span out of control, and at that time the perp ran out of his car. He started running, and we literally saw the police officers, you know, pull the gun, K-9 out, you know, freeze, and they tackled the perp, and we saw the officers arrest him and everything right in front of us.”
Police told Calzada the driver who hit her is just 16 years old.
Aside from some scratches and bruises, Calzada is expected to be OK.
“There’s a lot of soreness and stiffness right now when we went to the hospital. They did the X-rays and everything, and thank God, you know, we’re OK,” she said.
“The fact that there has been several guns in this vehicle, you know, he should not really be driving,” said a woman.
The suspects were in court Thursday, while Calzada and the other shooting victim recovers.
Detectives confirmed they arrested some people, but they did not specify how many or whether their charges are related to the shooting, as well as who pulled the trigger.
They also did not specify any information as to who the shooting victim is.
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