“It was a panic:” Police search for suspect after gunfire erupts at Madison’s East Towne Center

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MADISON -- A 19-year-old is struck by gunfire while at the East Towne Mall located in Madison Saturday afternoon, December 19th. Police are still searching for a suspect.

East Towne Mall shooting

East Towne Mall shooting

At least one shot was fired inside the mall Saturday afternoon, which sparked a mad dash towards safety.

"It was a panic. It was chaos. Everybody was running it was like Black Friday but ten times worse," said Jason Cain, heard gunshots.

It all happened a little before 3:00 p.m.

Jason Cain says he was in the mall shopping with a friend when he heard the sound of gunfire.

"First thing I told her to do was leave. Get to your car right now," said Cain.

Police say it all started when about ten young men were involved in a disturbance near the mall's center court.

East Towne Mall shooting

East Towne Mall shooting

"One of those ten produced a handgun and fired at least one shot. It struck one person who was involved in the fight in the leg," said David Dexheimer, Madison Police Department.

The 19-year-old victim was taken to a hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

Police say a mall merchant was also hit by ricochet.

"Struck in the leg. The round or the fragment didn't even penetrate his pant leg -- let alone cause any injuries," said Dexheimer.

East Towne Mall shooting

East Towne Mall shooting

Police say they don't yet know what led to the shooting, but those involved in the incident fled from the mall property. By early evening, police had detained an unknown number of people, but also say they are still searching for a suspect.

"Because there were so many people here we have a lot of eyewitnesses and a lot of people calling so we have descriptions of people -- we also have descriptions of vehicles," said Dexheimer.

Police are asking anyone with information on the gunman is urged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

41 comments

  • Batman

    Crime rose in Australia by almost 30% mostly robberies and home invasions. Sure seems to be working wonders. Doesn’t it?

  • Righy

    @libertarian, WOW you are stupid. the SECOND guns are made illegal and we ALL become felons, we also go from being citizens to SUBJECTS…sounds like your OK with that, MARXIST….i am not

    • Mitch

      Hitler also banned guns and he was a fascist, which is much more in tune with the posters here. As far as your gun rights preventing you from becoming a “subject”, that fight was lost in 1986 when Ronald Reagan signed the Firearm Owners Protection Act. A provision of that law prevents anyone from owning a machine gun made after 1986. So…you can own guns….just not the really good military grade ones. I’m just guessing you and your AR-15 won’t last long against a humvee mounted mini-gun (approx. 3000 rpm).

      • libertarian

        The gun wielding cowboys think their going to fight off Hillary and the government when they come knocking at the door? I don’t think so cowboys. You are going to give up your guns or it will be the end for you . The second amendment is going down! This is the new America.

      • Libsareliars

        Libertarian, I would love to see the government try to seize the guns from law abiding citizens. In fact why don’t you try to seize them and see how long you live.

      • Thomas Moone

        Hypothetically, if gun possession became illegal and you shot the people trying to collect them, then that would mean you are a murderer not a law-abiding citizen. No different than the police seizing drugs. You would then spend the rest of your life in prison or would be shot dead. Just applying logic to your comment.

      • Libsareliars

        So I guess that means if the government came to collect guns it means our free democracy is gone. We have then turned into China. I like many other people will take our chances instead of just standing around watching the government trample our freedoms. You can turn into a sheeple if you like but not me.

      • Brian

        If people voted to eliminate the right to own a gun, then that would demonstrate that our democracy is working, not failing.

      • Libsareliars

        Well since over a 1/3 of Americans are gun owners and this will never come to a vote your point is utterly stupid!!!

      • Logical thinker

        That is why I began my original post with the word, “hypothetically.” You are correct that 1/3 of households own a gun. But this number has been declining for two decades. In the 80s nearly half of all households had a gun, now it’s down to about 30 percent. In a few more generations, it will be even lower. At some point, so few people will own a gun we won’t need to debate it any longer.

      • Libsareliarsliars

        Is that why there wee record gun sales in September and again in November? Dream on buddy. Americans will always own guns and as more shootings and violence continues more people will become gun owners. By the way nice job of changing your screen name.

      • Logical Thinker

        First of all, the number of households owning a gun is at a 40 year low. This is widely reported and no evidence was offered to the contrary. But you raise a good question: If this is true, then how can gun sales be up? The reason is because more guns are going to fewer people. You can read an article printed in the conservative-leaning Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/05/america-has-more-guns-in-fewer-hands-than-ever-before%E2%80%8B/) that verifies my claim. Second, the largest increase in the number of sales and gun shops is along the U.S. / Mexican border. I will let you infer why this might be the case. You state “Americans will always own guns … and more people will become gun owners.” I have now refuted your unsupported statement twice with data and credible sources. And, not only is the number of gun owners down in recent decades in the U.S., but so is violent crime.

      • Libsareliars

        Violent crime is down less than 1% from the previous year. 2015 stats are not in yet but with the killings in places like Milwaukee and Chicago don’t be surprised to see those stats change. Also maybe because more states legalize concealed carry maybe that could be a connection between the drop in violent crime and gun ownership. Take away the guns and only the thugs will have guns.

      • Logical Thinker

        According to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice, the rates of violent crime in the U.S. are now at their lowest level in 40 years. Wisconsin has followed that same overall trend.

      • Libsareliars

        Do you understand my post???? Maybe there is a connection with some crime going down and people able to protect themselves by concealed carry.

      • Logical thinker

        Given that violent crime was declining long before the increase in carry permits, I would say it’s correlational but not causal. From what I’ve read, the data is inconclusive.

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  • Mitch

    Note that any anti-gun comments on this page get deleted while the racist drivel like yours is left intact. Leave it to right-wing “Christian” racists to argue for their 2nd amendment rights while censoring others (that would be the 1st amendment btw). God bless “Merica”.

  • Parish

    The gunman in the Dover photo there searching for is clearly white you racist dolt! And last I checked weren’t all,the mass shooters of the schools, malls, colleges, and movie theatres White?! Sit down fool!

  • Hillarylies

    It’s nice to see our new millennials in their indoctrination camps in UW-Madistan, sorta like going to a game park in Africa and watching the wild animals going about their daily life cycle of eat or be eaten.

    • Thomas Moone

      I’ll take a wild guess that you never attended college. I attended and graduated from UW-madison. They do not indoctrinate students. This is some strange fantasy that people have about college who did not attend college. The university, as most credible universities do, teaches students how to be independent thinkers, to be productive citizens, and to contribute to society. I have a degree in engineering. I took courses related to circuits, physics, mathematics, etc. There was no course on “indoctrination”.

      • Hillarylies

        Caltech BS MS Retired. Madison like CIt is a liberal indoctrination school unless you have an advanced degree like yours. Most sociology, humanities and english lit students have too much time on their hands and fall into the lefty camp. lol

  • Logical thinker

    The presence of more people carrying guns at the mall would not have stopped this attack. It is more probable that such a person(s) at the mall would have caused more death, chaos, and tragedy. Gun advocates like to fantasize about the concealed carry holder pulling his gun and shooting the attacker(s). Unfortunately, this scenario is rare. It happens – so does lightning strikes – but it is the exception not the rule. Think through the scenario. A shooting happens in a public space. The person with the concealed gun pulls it out and possibly shoots. He might miss or even kill an innocent person. Now what? More panic. More chaos. Lacking situation awareness and untrained in stressful, crowded situations, another person with a concealed weapon pulls his weapon and shoots. And so on. When the police arrive, they shoot anyone seen with a gun or waste precious time trying to decipher the good guys from the bad guys. Gun advocates argue this won’t happen. Unfortunately, many simulations, including those conducted by pro gun groups, indicate that variants of the scenario outlined above is the most probable. As an example, a gun rights group in Texas recreated a real-life simulation of the Charlie Hebdo attacks (http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/a-gun-rights-organization-staged-a-re-enactment-of-the-charlie-hebdo-shooting/). In the simulation setup, the group of course tried to bias the outcome as much as possible in their favor. They stupidly invited the media to observe. Oooops. The good guy(s) were killed and the attackers unthwarted in nearly every run of the simulation. Nearly every simulation has the same conclusion: more people with guns who lack awareness and are untrained in crowded, stressful situations increase the probability of tragedy. Malls, schools, and other public spaces are gun free zones because the leaders who make these policy decisions apply logic and reason and are supported by the data.

    • Opinion8d

      @logicalthinker – the point of gun ownership and conceal carry is to protect yourself and your loved ones. Yes, no one is going to stop what happened at the mall -that type of shooting. A fight between gangs where one shoots and they all take off can happen anywhere -(see Milwaukee). However, if someone wants to come in the mall and start shooting people, those that have a weapon are in a much better position to survive -they can defend themselves. Imagine hiding behind a counter hoping not to be the next victim when the shooter peers over and finds you…then what??? No defensive and you’re dead! You may not want that option, but please don’t infringe or keep me or others from our Rights.

      • Logical Thinker

        @OPINION8D. Apparently, you failed to read my post. You write “if someone wants to come in the mall and start shooting people, those that have a weapon are in a much better position to survive -they can defend themselves.” I directly refuted this fantasy in my post with credible sources. Your response is your perception, not reality. You are in no better position to survive than anyone else with or without a gun. The best way to survive is to leave the scene. This is widely supported. For example, in the frontier towns, the towns quickly realized that the only way to make the town safe was to institute gun-free zones. You then state “You may not want that option, but please don’t infringe or keep me or others from our Rights.” My comment never stated anything that would infringe on your right to own a gun. You have absolutely no legal right to carry a weapon in a location marked as a gun-free zone.

      • Logical thinker

        You are 10 times more likely to be struck by lightning (1 in 1.1 million) than to be present during a mass shooting (1 in 12 million). If you are concerned about your safety, it makes more sense to wear a rubber suit than to carry a gun.

    • Lynette Dean

      My husband and I were hunkered down in the back room of Buckle with others after the shooting at East Towne Mall. I was very pissed that my husband’s conceal carry gun was in the trunk of our car and not on him. In that room, with no signals on our phones, busy signals on 911, and no way to communicate with anyone, we felt like sitting ducks. If the shooters found a way in, we had no way to protect ourselves. If my husband had the gun, he wouldn’t have gone looking for a gun fight. He’s not an idiot. He’s a responsible gun owner like millions of Americans. You don’t know how it feels until you hear the gunshots (there were 2) and people yelling there was a shooting. Even the staff of Buckle panicked and forgot to shut the gate. They had to go back out to shut it and it would have been less stressful to have someone with a gun protecting them while they were exposed.
      Also, on households not having firearms, your percentages are stupid. Many families have guns that have been handed down for generations and they are not registered.

  • Linsareliars

    Let me guess logical thinker. You are a UW Madison graduate and are anti gun. Gee what a shock !!!! Your views are about as twisted as the criminals.

  • libertarian

    Next year there will be a door to door gun confiscation and ban on all firearm sales. That is if people with sensible minds vote in Hillary. The conservatives are turning this country into a right wing murder field. The government needs to employ a complete firearms confiscation and ban on sales and toss away the right to carry any weapons. The second amendment shall read Americans citizens have no gun rights for everyone’s well being.

    • Libsareliars

      Funny how all these mass shootings are occurring under Obama’s watch. You nut wing lefties are turning this country over to the criminals with your soft on crime laws.

      • Logical thinker

        Couldn’t one also state with equal accuracy that these shootings are increasing due to having a Republican controlled house and senate? After all, which branch defines the penal code for criminal behavior?

Comments are closed.