Monroeville Mall shoppers had mixed feelings the day after about gunfire that led to an evacuation there Friday night.
“This world is getting crazy,” said April Hawkins, 49, of Wilkinsburg. She was standing outside the mall Saturday afternoon after shopping for clothes with her grandson.
Police are searching for suspects after they say at least one in a group of young men just outside the mall fired up to 10 shots at another group of men who were inside at the Macy’s Backstage store. The bullets were sprayed into the first-floor entrance around 8 p.m. Friday.
Although shaken from the reality of the shooting, Hawkins — who is a frequent shopper at the mall — said it would not discourage her from returning.
“But you can’t say there’s nothing to worry about — you never know what’s going to happen,” she said, referencing Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole, who said Friday shortly after the shooting that it was not an active shooter event and that nobody should be discouraged from visiting the mall over safety concerns.
Cole was not available to comment on Saturday.
Cole said Friday that police did not receive any reports of injuries from the gunfire.
On Saturday, a mall maintenance crew was observed placing wooden boards over the glass-pane doors that had been shot. There was also a bullet hole in a metal separator between two doors.
The Macy’s Backstage store was open Saturday. A Monroeville Mall representative was not immediately available for comment.
Justin Sloan, 23, of Penn Hills was shopping for shirts near the shot-up doors. He had not heard the news.
“Wow, I’ve always thought this was a safer area,” he said. “It’s definitely alarming. Ten bullets? That’s a lot.”
Marianne Turkal, 74, of Weirton, W.Va. was not deterred from shopping Saturday. She felt secure because of the police presence and daylight.
“All I have to say is: that this is the best time to shop because the police are here,” she said.
Turkal said she used to live in the area but was in Monroeville for the Steel City Con this weekend at the adjacent Monroeville Convention Center. She said she stops in to shop at the mall once a month.
A shooting occurred at the Monroeville Macy’s in February 2015 when a juvenile shot three people. That incident occurred six weeks after a brawl in the mall that involved hundreds of teenagers.