HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – People in Hattiesburg are shaken up after a shooting at Turtle Creek Mall on Saturday, March 4.
Shoppers and neighbors said they’re in disbelief that a shooting would happen inside of the mall. Those who were inside the mall at the time say it was a chaotic dash for safety.
Hattiesburg police said a 16-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man opened fire on each other during a fight, sending crowds running from the mall.
Deborah Dent said she’s afraid to return to the mall.
“Some kids came running through saying there’s a shooting and to run. The salesperson turned around. We both looked, and I was going, ‘Oh, my God! Oh, my good! What do we do?’ When we started running, everybody was chaotic. It was because we were looking to see if everybody was running in one direction. They were not. They were running all kinds of directions,” said Dent, a Turtle Creek Mall shopper.
Mall management said they take security measures seriously and want customers to feel safe.
“We appreciate the quick action of the Hattiesburg Police Department (HPD) and other responding agencies during this weekend’s incident. We will continue to work with them during their investigation. In addition to maintaining a close working relationship with HPD, we evaluate our security measures on an ongoing basis, making adjustments as necessary. Our top priority is to maintain a comfortable and convenient environment for our customers, retail partners and employees,” said a spokesperson for the mall in a statement.
Hattiesburg police said the 16-year-old suspect is expected in court on Monday.