UPDATE: Richard Shoop, the suspected mall gunman, was found dead early Tuesday.
A lone gunman opened fire at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., on Monday night, News 12 reported.
Witnesses on the scene said the shots were fired near the Nordstrom department store on the second level of the shopping mall just after 9 p.m.
Hundreds of police officers and SWAT team members responded to the incident, filling the mall’s parking lot with cars, armored trucks and flashing lights. The mall was placed in lockdown for several hours as officers searched for the gunman and evacuated patrons and store employees.
By 11 p.m., authorities told MYFoxNY that it was no longer an active shooter situation.
Authorities believe the shooter left the mall, but his location is unknown.
The New York Daily News reported that the gunman was wearing some sort of body armor. Mall workers told Patch that the gunman had on black leather pants and jacket, a backpack and a motorcycle helmet with the visor opened.
Clarice Forbes, who works at Talbot’s, told Patch that she saw the gunman walk by her, shooting a rifle into the air.
“It was very, very terrifying. Very scary,” Forbes said.
Eddie Kahmann, who also works inside the mall, described a chaotic scene to CNN.
“There was just people running like crazy, so I quickly just closed my doors, ran to the back, turned off all the lights, music and everything, just to stay hidden,” Kahmann said.
Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera told MYFoxNY that only one shell casing was found inside the building.
At the time of this writing, there have been no reports of casualties.
At 1 a.m., Nordstrom took to Twitter to update the public about the shooting: The mall will remain closed on Tuesday.