Update: 1:30 p.m. ET:
Howard County police in Columbia, Md., said they believe the active shooter situation at the Mall in Columbia has ended.
According to a statement by the department on Facebook, no shots fired once the police entered the scene. They believe the body found near a gun and ammunition is believed to be the shooter.
"As you can imagine, this is a very complex and trying scene for everyone involved," said Howard County Chief of Police, Bill McMahon at a press conference at the mall.
We believe "one of the deceased is in fact the shooter," McMahon said, and described "very confident" that the shooter was acting alone and the incident is over. He said the shooting took place on the upper level of the mall in a store, and all three deceased died in one place in the mall.
McMahon said many people remain inside, sheltering in place in stores, some two hours after the incident, and that officers were working to clear the mall.
Two injuries reported are not believed to be related to the shooting.
Original story follows:
At least three people are dead after a shooting at a mall in Columbia, Md., early Saturday afternoon.
Howard County police are describing the scene, about 45 minutes outside of D.C., as an "active shooter situation," and shut down the mall.
According to the department's Twitter account, the call of shots fired came in at 11:15 a.m. Police said they then entered and found three dead, one near a gun and ammunition.
Local news reported hearing on police scanners that the incident appeared to take place on the second floor of the sprawling shopping center.
There has been a confirmed shooting at the Columbia mall. a PIO will be on scene shortly. No updates or new details yet.— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) January 25, 2014
Three people confirmed dead at Columbia Mall. Victims unknown at this time.— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) January 25, 2014
People inside mall are being asked to stay in place until police can clear each area safely.— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) January 25, 2014
One deceased subject located near gun and ammunition. ID unknown.— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) January 25, 2014
Call came into 911 around 11:15 a.m. that shots were fired. Police made entry and found three dead, one found near a gun and ammunition.— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) January 25, 2014
No recent reports of any additional shots heard.— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) January 25, 2014