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Three dead in Maryland mall shooting spree

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-26

Police in the US state of Maryland have confirmed that three people died in a shooting at a mall in suburban Baltimore on Saturday, including the presumed gunman.

Howard County police said via Twitter that a shooting took place in Columbia, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Authorities received a call to the police emergency dispatcher at around 11:15am (4:15pm GMT) from someone reporting that shots had been fired. Police arrived on the scene and found three people dead, including one person who was found near a gun and ammunition.

Police said they believed that one of the people found dead was the shooter. There was no other information available about the two other people.

The scene was “believed to be secure” police said in a tweet released at about 12:36pm (5:36pm GMT).

The mall typically opens at 10am on Saturdays and it was not known how many shoppers or workers might have been present at the time of the shooting.

Joan Harding of Elkridge, Maryland, was shopping with her husband, David, for a tiara for their granddaughter’s 18th birthday. She said she heard something heavy falling, followed by gunshots and people running.

“My husband said, ‘Get down!’ and the girl that worked in the store said, ‘Get in the back’," Harding said. They remained hidden until police gave the all-clear signal.

Witnesses said they heard a succession of gunshots fired near the food court on the first floor of the mall.

People were directed out of the mall and into a parking lot, where some boarded a bus and others walked toward their cars. 

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2014-01-25