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Penn Square Mall shooting
Google Maps display Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Screenshot)

A shooting at Penn Square Mall around 4 p.m. today ignited panic among Christmas shoppers and employees.

An Oklahoma City police spokesman, Capt. Larry Withrow, said the shooting was an “isolated incident” between two individuals inside the mall’s Foot Locker store that resulted in one person being shot in the chest.

Police were still searching for the suspected shooter Thursday night, Withrow said.

But Friday morning, News 9 reported that the suspect turned himself in at the advice of his father.

‘People just wanted to save their own skin’

OKC resident Clay Call was at the Eddie Bauer store on the downstairs level of the mall as shots were fired.

“I heard those initial shots,” Call told NonDoc. “Everyone kind of realized what was going on, and everyone just bolted through the same exit in the back of the store.”

Call said the shots sounded like they were fired from a handgun.

“It sounded like three to four shots, and they were all in the span of two seconds,” Call said. “Everyone who was in the store I was in just panicked and bailed.”

Police at the scene of a shooting at Penn Square Mall Thursday evening. (Archiebald Browne)

Call said some fleeing shoppers hopped over a woman with a stroller as they tried to exit the store.

“There was a woman with a double stroller for her twins who couldn’t get through the door because the shelf in the back room was just sticking out ever so much,” Call said. “So everyone was freaking out, and three or four people just hopped over this woman and her children because they were scared and trying to save themselves.”

Call said he helped moved the shelf to allow the woman and other shoppers to exit the store more quickly.

“That was the most shocking thing to me: how many people just wanted to save their own skin even though it seemed like we were pretty far away from it and we were lucky and instantly got in the back hallway,” he said. “They were still just looking out for numero uno.”

According to some reports, Oklahoma City Thunder players were at the mall attending a showing of the latest Star Wars film.

Those who left items in the mall can pick them up beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, police said.

(Editor’s note: This story about a Penn Square Mall shooting has been updated multiple times since its publication around 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. It was updated again at 12:55 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, to note that the suspect turned himself in.)

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Matt Patterson has spent 20 years in journalism in Oklahoma covering a variety of topics for The Oklahoman, The Edmond Sun and Lawton Constitution.
William W. Savage III (Tres) holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for eCapitol.net before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.
Archiebald Browne is a journalism student at the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He completed an editorial internship at NonDoc during the summer of 2019, served as a staff reporter through the end of 2019 and became Student Editor in January 2020.