OTTAWA – Boxing Day shoppers scrambled for safety as a shooter fired a single round in the outdoor area of an outlet mall in Ottawa, sending one person to hospital in what police are treating as an isolated incident.
The shooting occurred on an pedestrian walkway at the Tanger Outlets mall in the city’s west end around 3:45 p.m Friday, said Staff-Sgt. Rick Keindel.
Police issued a statement early Saturday morning that said the victim had been wounded in the foot, and described the injury as minor.
The shooting took place outside an Adidas shoe store, said an employee who gave his name only as Mike.
He said he was in the back when the shot rang out, and emerged to see people running for cover.
“I saw other customers or pedestrians fleeing from the area. But I think there was more confusion than anything,” he said.
He said the store was immediately placed in lockdown but re-opened an hour later, and that shopping resumed at other stores in the outlet mall.
Keindel said police had arrested two suspects and were looking for two others.
“It’s not an active shooter situation. It seems like an isolated thing.”
“Just one shot was fired. One person was injured,” he said.
Duty Insp. Mark Patterson told local reporters at the mall that it’s believed the shooting was a targeted attack.
He said the victim was known to police and was not co-operating with investigators. The guns and gangs unit had been called in, Patterson said. The unit is automatically brought in when firearms are involved in a crime.
Keindel said no weapon was recovered at the scene.
He said witnesses were being interviewed and investigators would be looking into any available surveillance footage of the shooting.
Management at the mall decided to close early Friday in consideration of the employees working at the stores, Keindel said.
“They just prefer to close all the stores and give the employees sort of an opportunity to catch their breath and just decompress from the incident,” he said.