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Police respond to reports of shots fired at New Jersey mall

Nov. 4, 2013 at 10:36 PM

PARAMUS, N.J., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Police rushed to the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., Monday after receiving reports of shots being fired in the upscale shopping mall, authorities said.

WNBC-TV reported police, fire and emergency medical service personnel from several agencies converged on the mall after receiving reports of a shooter opening fire.

The New York TV station said a witness, who it did not identify, tweeted that a shooting happened "over by Nordstrom on the second floor."

The incident began sometime before the mall's scheduled 9:30 p.m. closing and at 9:50 p.m. it was locked down, people inside confirmed to WCBS-TV.

An employee told 1010 WINS she was locked in the basement of the mall.

"I was at the mall, and I saw a bunch of people running a bunch of people yelling, 'There's a shooting! There's a shooting!" said Joseph Elfar, a Rutgers student. "So me and my friend were at the Sprint store, and we start running out. We start running towards the exit, and a lot of people were running out the mall.

A Bergen County Police Department representative told The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger police officers were dispatched to the mall, but she would not confirm the incident was a shooting.

But WNBC-TV, New York, reported witnesses said a man dressed in black, including a black helmet, and armed with a rifle had started firing shots inside the mall.

It wasn't known if anyone was hit, the TV station said.

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