UPDATE #5: The Prairie Mall will be back to normal operation at 9:30 am today, according to the building’s Facebook page.
UPDATE #4: Grande Prairie RCMP says an altercation between two groups of men led to a shot being fired around 5 p.m. Thursday night. One man was seriously hurt but his injuries are considered non-life threatening. A female bystander was also injured and both were taken to hospital.
The rest of the men involved fled the scene and despite extensive searches of the area, none were found. A description of a suspect is not yet available and police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to contact the detachment.
Mounties believe this was not a random act and there’s no further risk to public safety. The Prairie Mall remains closed as officers with the General Investigation Section, RCMP Forensic Identification unit and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams investigate.
UPDATE #3: One mall worker says he felt in the dark about what was happening when the building went into lockdown. Shameen Aghdasy says everyone in Jersey City hid in the staff room but were confused when they still saw people walking the hallways. When they were told they could leave after 20 to 30 minutes, he says they went unescorted.
“I’m gonna be really cautious from now on especially since there’s no metal detectors by the mall doors.”
Although his manager had a written protocol to follow, Aghdasy felt the whole evacuation was “messy” and “unorganized”.
UPDATE #2: We’re still awaiting RCMP confirmation of injuries, but several witnesses report seeing one man taken by EMS on a stretcher, and a woman walking away with an injury to her leg.
UPDATE: Mall employees and shoppers who didn’t hear the gunshot say they were kept locked inside for some time afterwards. Destiny Spring says she had just left the food court and was in another store on the other side of the mall when she saw all the doors closing. The store manager was told about the shooting and it was about 20 minutes before they were told to leave.
The Prairie Mall has been evacuated after reports of shots fired in the food court. A fast food employee says they heard a single shot and saw a body lying on the ground. Another worker saw a man with a bag running out of the mall right after the shot rang out.
The shopping centre confirmed the incident and that it will remain closed for the remainder of the evening.
RCMP are on the scene but have yet to comment. Whether any injuries have been sustained is unknown.