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Police: Status of suspect in active shooter situation at Killeen Mall still ‘unknown’

Mall to reopen Wednesday with normal hours
Suspect in the active shooter situation at the Killeen Mall.
Suspect in the active shooter situation at the Killeen Mall.(Eric Franklin for KWTX)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 7:40 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Killeen Police officers on Tuesday swarmed the Killeen Mall to respond to an active shooter situation that left one person wounded, led to an evacuation, and later a “shelter in place” order for employees and customers who remained inside the mall.

The status of the suspect was “unknown,” according to Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble, who described the shooter as a “white male” about six feet tall. The suspect was wearing a beanie and a hoodie, Kimble said.

The victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. On Wednesday, Killeen Police said the victim underwent surgery Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning. The hospital reportedly told police the patient remains in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

The incident at the mall located at located at 2100 S W S Young Drive was reported at 7:17 p.m. Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, the mall’s business office told KWTX it would be open during regular hours. Mall General Manager Denise Dasse, who said their thoughts and prayers are with the victim and their family, also commended the swift action of law enforcement officers responding to the shooting.

Police remained at the scene late Tuesday night to help store employees and other people who were still sheltering in place inside the mall. At about 11 p.m. Tuesday, police said everyone had been evacuated safely.

When asked if the shooting was a targeted or random incident, Kimble said he could not answer because the investigation was in its early stages.

At the time the “disturbance” was first reported, Killeen Police warned the community to stay away, but did not reveal they were responding to an active shooter situation.

“Our officers are currently working a situation at the Killeen Mall. We ask the community to please stay away from the area at this time. Again, PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE KILLEEN MALL,” a police tweet stated.

Surveillance image of customers running away as shots are fired: (Courtesy Pro Image Sports at the Killeen Mall)

When asked why the initial call went out as a “disturbance” and not an “active shooter situation,” Kimble said, “When these things happen, we get multiple phone calls. There were 20-30 phone calls with people saying different things.”

“There were probably people yelling and screaming and multiple calls were coming in and our dispatchers probably used that code of ‘disturbance’ just to get people started at the mall and then sorting through the calls,” the police chief said.

Kimble said all stores inside the mall were open at the time of the shooting. “It’s the holiday season and there are innocent people who are hurt and I’m asking you, if you know anything about this, please contact the Killeen Police Department so we can resolve this case,” the police chief said.

This is a developing story.

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