(Updated at 9:20 p.m.) Tysons Corner Center has been evacuated after reports of at least one gunshot fired in or near the mall.
Despite videos posted to social media showing people fleeing from the mall in a panic, after hearing gunfire, Fairfax County police say this is not an active shooter situation.
There are no reports of injuries stemming from the gunfire, but three people were transported to local hospitals with injuries sustained while fleeing, Fairfax County police said in a media briefing at 5:30 p.m.
“We’re going to find them. I promise you that,” Police Chief Kevin Davis said. “They’ll be held accountable, and that’s going to be in short order. This shouldn’t happen. It can’t happen. This isn’t acceptable to any of us, so enough. We’re going to find these guys and hold them accountable.”
Police said they were unable to confirm the number of shooters or how many shots were fired.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the shots were fired after a fight broke out “between a small group” in a walkway on the mall’s second floor. Just after 2:45 p.m., the county’s 911 call center received several calls from community members who said there had been a shooting.
One person told FFXnow shortly after 3 p.m. that a “stampede” prompted Coastal Flats to lock its doors. State police later let patrons and employees leave the restaurant via the exit by Barnes & Noble.
Another tipster says their son was barricaded in the store where he works, while other people reportedly hid in a store’s backroom after hearing shots and screams. One visitor who hid in a store told FFXnow that “people were just running out” of the mall, and some left their belongings behind.
“People were crying outside or just fleeing the scene,” she said.
Tysons Corner Center has been closed since the incident, and it will remain shut down for the remainder of the day with a possible reopening tomorrow (Sunday), police said.
Several law enforcement departments from around the D.C. region joined Fairfax County in the emergency response. Virginia State Police assisted with traffic control.
Police said they found shell casings and other evidence of gunfire, and detectives are in the process of interviewing “double digits” of witnesses who remained on the scene.
Though he acknowledged that gun violence in the U.S. feels “relentless,” Davis sought to reassure the community that the largest mall in the D.C. area is safe, noting that the FCPD has a team of officers specifically assigned there.
“That’s how important Tysons Corner Center is to us and to the community not just in Fairfax County, but the entire national capital region,” Davis said. “All you have to do is say the word ‘Tysons.’ People come here because it’s safe. That’s going to continue to be the case.”
No reports of active shooter at this time. Officers are clearing the mall to ensure suspects are no longer present and assisting those sheltering in place. If you are sheltered, please stay in place until officers come to assist. https://t.co/jJG9n2MTF6
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) June 18, 2022
Was in Nordstrom in Tysons Corner Mall, VA when everyone started running and fled the mall. Heard what could’ve been gunshots at around the 1 minute mark. Hope everyone is ok and it was a false alarm. pic.twitter.com/9kIGoDroqw
— Fellissimo Gannon (@FellGannon) June 18, 2022
Active shooter at Tysons Corner Mall pic.twitter.com/pjFXnF0NWF
— *.｡*･゜ﾟ･* ✦ (@prozactwink) June 18, 2022
Gun violence right outside the nation’s capital.
Police and EMS are on the scene at Tysons Corner in response to a shooting inside the mall.
My BF and I heard gunshots while shopping at Express and ran. pic.twitter.com/1eqaXa6Lg8
— Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) June 18, 2022
🔺 It looks like an active shooter situation at Tysons corner in Virginia
Will update as I learn more. pic.twitter.com/80ch6r8IKM
— Ksenija Pavlovic (@ksenijapavlovic) June 18, 2022
we are in a store back room with about 15 people, what seemed like shots hear, screams and then people running. Shots came from second floor
— Marvin (@msoward2014) June 18, 2022
Fairfax County Police say the mall is currently closed as they work to clear the building.
One mall employee describes sheltering in place inside the store where she works while they waited for police & mall security to escort them out: pic.twitter.com/yfkURxQ3st
— Heather Graf (@Heather7News) June 18, 2022
Fatimah Waseem, Angela Woolsey and James Cullum contributed to this report.
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