Aventura Mall reopened its doors one day after, police said, an argument between two groups of people led to a shooting that sent three people to the hospital, caused other injuries due to the ensuing pandemonium and launched a search for the gunman responsible.
It was a busy Mother’s Day at the shopping center. However, Nordstrom, one of its most popular department stores, remained closed.
7News cameras captured shoppers entering the mall, Sunday afternoon.
It was a much different scene 24 hours earlier when, police said, shots were fired outside of the Hugo Boss store, near Nordstrom.
“Two groups of individuals, as far as we can tell, got into a verbal altercation that then resulted in a physical altercation,” said Aventura Police Maj. Michael Bentolila. “One individual displayed a weapon. From the other group, another individual pulled a weapon and actually used it inside the mall.”
Cellphone video captured the chaos and confusion in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s shooting, as people were seen hiding inside locked stores, running toward exits and making their way to parking lots.
7News cameras showed a heavy police presence, as Aventura Police, Miami-Dade Police and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units were seen outside the mall.
Audio from police radio conveyed the initial uncertainty about the incident.
“I have a 330 at Aventura Mall outside of Nortstrom. Six shots, don’t know if anyone’s shot at this time,” a dispatcher is heard saying.
The mall was put on lockdown, as officers swept the area with their guns drawn, while others helped the wounded.
Josephina Golubov said Saturday was her first day at her new job in the mall.
“Twenty minutes after my shift started, you hear gunfire and everybody running to the back,” she said.
Police said three people were shot, but their injuries were not life-threatening.
Two other people suffered injuries after the shots rang out.
Paramedics transported the five victims to Aventura Hospital.
Police said several people involved in the incident were taken into custody, and they are being questioned.
Investigators said the gunman was last seen wearing a black Adidas tracksuit with white stripes and black shoes.
“Our detectives are going through video, interviews and putting all the pieces together,” said Bentolila.
“I’m just thankful to be alive and that we’re OK, because it was a very scary experience,” said a shopper who identified herself as Amy.
As of Sunday night, no arrests have been made.
Aventura Police did not immediately respond to 7News’ calls about an update in the case.
If you have any information on this shooting or the gunman’s whereabouts, call Aventura Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.