[quote13b3426e41]A trench coat-clad teenager who opened fire on shoppers at a mall had one thing in mind "to kill a large number of people" — and he likely would have killed more than five had an off-duty officer not confronted him, the police chief said Tuesday.
"There is no question that his quick action saved the lives of numerous other people," Police Chief Chris Burbank said of the officer.
Burbank identified the gunman as Sulejmen Talovic, an 18-year-old who lives with his mother in Salt Lake City, and said he had a backpack full of ammunition, the shotgun he was using and a .38-caliber pistol.
The teen killed five people and wounded four at the Trolley Square mall, including two people shot in the parking lot as he arrived around 7 p.m. Monday, another at the entrance and then five people inside a card store, the police chief said.
"It appears to be very random," Burbank said. "There was no sense to why he was doing what he was doing.
"The suspect in this particular circumstance had one thing on his mind, and that was to kill a large number of people," Burbank said.
Had the off-duty Ogden police officer, who had a gun but no extra equipment or additional ammunition, not gone after the gunman, the teenager likely would have continued shooting people on his way through the mall, Burbank said. He said police knew little about the young man.
"I heard shots. I couldn't believe I was hearing shots in that mall," Barrett Dodds, who runs an antique store, told CBS' The Early Show.
Dodds, 29, said the shooter was "taking time to aim" and, more eerily, "he had a smile on his face."
After hearing a big crash and seeing glass spray across the mall, Brad Merrill, who was at the mall with his four children to celebrate one of their birthdays, said he saw the man walk by with a shotgun.
"He paused and looked around — looked at me — and then started walking briskly towards the stairs," Merrill told The Early Show.
"I was just stunned," Merrill said.
Dodds said he saw the gunman exchanging gunfire with a police officer outside a card store. The gunman, he said, was backed into a children's clothing store.
"I saw the shooter go down," said Dodds, who watched from the second floor.
The card store Cabin Fever had been packed with Valentine's Day shoppers Monday night when the shooting started, store owner David Dean said.
Dean said his assistant manager called him, saying "someone's in the store killing people." The place was "all shot up," Dean said. He said three or four of the victims were shot inside.
As investigators began interviewing the 100 to 200 witnesses, people placed candles and flowers at two memorials outside the mall for the victims. Business owners surveyed the damage, and shoppers who had fled returned to pick up cars they had to leave parked overnight.
Marie Smith, 23, a Bath & Body Works manager, said she had seen the gunman through the store window. She watched as he raised his gun and fired at a young woman approaching him from behind.
"His expression stayed totally calm. He didn't seem upset, or like he was on a rampage," said Smith, who crawled to an employee restroom to hide with others. He looked like "an average Joe," she said.
The victims were identified as Jeffrey Walker, 52, Vanessa Quinn, 29, Kirsten Hinkley, 15, Teresa Ellis, 29, and Brad Frantz, 24. Four people were hospitalized — a 44-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man in critical condition, and a 34-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy in serious condition.
For hours after the rampage, police searched stores for scared, shocked shoppers and employees who were hunkered down awaiting a safe escort.
Matt Lund was visiting his wife, Barbara, manager of the Secret Garden children's clothing store, when he heard the first shots. The couple and three others hid in a storage room for about 40 minutes, isolated but still able to hear the violence.
"We heard them say 'Police! Drop your weapon!' Then we heard shotgun fire. Then there was a barrage of gunfire," said Lund, 44. "It was hard to believe."
Witnesses said officers treated everyone like suspects — ordering those hiding in storerooms, bathrooms or under stairwells, to lie on the floor with their hands on their heads until police were sure no one posed a threat.
On the way out, Lund said, he saw a woman's body face-down at the entrance to Pottery Barn Kids and a man's body on the floor in the mall's east-west corridor. "There were a lot of blown-out store windows and shotgun shell casings all over the floor," Lund said. "It was quite surreal."
The victims were found throughout the 239,000-square-foot shopping mall.
Outside, streets were blocked as police swarmed the four-block scene. Dozens of people lingered on the sidewalk, many wrapped in blankets, as they talked about what they had seen inside.
Four police officers — the off-duty officer from Ogden and three Salt Lake City officers — were involved in the shootout with the gunman, Snyder said. She provided no other details.
The two-story mall, southeast of downtown, is a refurbished trolley barn built in 1908, with a series of winding hallways, brick floors, wrought-iron balconies and about 80 stores, including high-end retailers such as Williams-Sonoma and restaurants such as the Hard Rock Cafe.
It was purchased in August by Scanlan Kemper Bard Cos. of Portland, Ore., from Simon Property Group for $38.6 million. The company said it planned to invest $80 million, attract a new anchor tenant and possibly add condominiums.
"We are devastated and shocked by this senseless, random act of violence and tragedy at Trolley Square, owner Tom Bard said in a statement posted on KSL-TV's Web site. "At this time our greatest concern and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones."[/quote13b3426e41]
My sister lives only a few blocks from there. Really sad.
Does Bowling for Colombine remind you of something ?
lisighli ( this is really sad....
Yah i heard about this on the radio this afternoon.
It sucks that there are people out there like that.
Why oh why?! Honestly, people are so wicked.
Valentine's "Season" causes crazy people to do some crazy things...
gosh thats terrible...very scary.
[quote567315ef56="FreeOffersNow"]Valentine's "Season" causes crazy people to do some crazy things...[/quote567315ef56]
I always think about shit like that because I work in the mall
Sounds like this kid needed a hug.
sounds like somebody had the case of the Mundays...