Delaware State Police say no "physical evidence" of shooting
UPDATE: Saturday, Dec. 22
Delaware State Police said the noise and confusion Friday night at the Christiana Mall was caused by a fight and not by gunshots as was initially reported to police.
The mall is open as usual today.
Last night, state troopers were already at the mall as part of the regularly-scheduled security detail along with Christiana Mall security officers. Police and security officers immediately began to follow safety protocols and procedures after loud noises were heard, people started running, and reports were received of shots fired.
During the response, there were various reports of the suspects being at different businesses. With the assistance of multiple police agencies, the building was evacuated and secured, and traffic was diverted away from the area. A search of the building and the surrounding area was conducted and the building and area were deemed safe.
Further investigation revealed that there was a large fight among multiple people. During this incident, a glass container broke and a metal sign fell to the floor. Patrons and employees began fleeing the area.
There has been no evidence recovered of any weapons being present or discharged.
At this time, police said it appears that the fight in the mall is the cause of the loud noises and the mass exit of patrons and employees.
Police have received reports of minor injuries that occurred while people were fleeing the mall.
This case is still being investigated. Police ask anyone with information about what happened to call Troop 2, Detective Ripple at Troop 2 at (302) 365-8438 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, or online at delaware.crimestoppersweb.com
ORIGINAL REPORT: Friday, Dec. 21
The Delaware State Police remained at Christiana Mall late Friday night after a reported shooting, although they found no evidence that any shots were fired.
Police originally reported shots fired at the mall around 8:47 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, near the Macy's section.
Wilmington resident Susan Bodan was shopping in JC Penny when they were alerted by a cashier of the report. Shoppers were initially asked to shelter in place.
She said they later asked shoppers to move to the second floor of the store, and into backrooms, where they waited for roughly an hour before being allowed to return to their cars.
Bodan said she was not frightened during the lockdown.
"Common sense kicked in," she said. "[It's] probably not a crazy large volume shooter. Either shopping rage or a personal thing - I knew under those circumstances I wasn’t much of a target."
She also commended JC Penny staff for their actions during the crisis.
"They shared their holiday party food and drinks and were very helpful," she said.
Reports were conflicting on social media regarding the nature of the incident, and at a news conference Friday evening, police said there was no physical evidence of a shooting.
Police have established a reunification location set-up in the Costco parking lot located at 900 Center Blvd., Newark.
The ramps leading to Costco have been re-opened to allow those access to the reunification area.
The Christiana Mall remained closed Friday night.
Motorists should expect delays and seek alternate routes of travel.
The incident continues to remain under investigation with further details being released as they become available, police said.