Search continues for Tacoma Mall shooter

A police office guards an entrance to the Tacoma Mall on Friday. Gunshots rang out in the shopping center earlier in the evening.

The search for the shooter who terrorized Tacoma Mall shoppers Friday night entered its second day Saturday as a victim recovered in a local hospital.

Tacoma police spokesman officer Gary Wurges offered no new information on the search for the suspect who allegedly shot one person or the condition, location or sex of that victim.

“Everything is status quo,” Wurges said. “It’s an ongoing investigation and our criminal investigation division has been notified.”

The shooting apparently followed a dispute between at least two people near the food court just after 7 p.m. The mall was immediately locked down as shoppers and employees sheltered behind closed doors and in store rooms.

Simon Property Group, the Indianapolis-based owner of the mall, did not immediately respond to a request seeking a comment on the incident. Wurges said the mall would open at its usual time of 10 a.m. Saturday.

An employee at Macy’s, which opens earlier than the mall, said her store was back in business. She anticipated the mall opening at 10 a.m.

“Everything’s back to normal,” she told The News Tribune.

City leaders condemned Friday night’s violence.

Mayor Victoria Woodards and Deputy Mayor Keith Blocker thanked first responders who quickly converged on the scene.

“Because the impacts of gun violence ripple out community wide, we continue to place high priority on public safety,” they said in a joint statement. “As we learn more, we stand with everyone impacted by this event — we are stronger together.”

Black Friday’s incident comes 16 years after a mass shooting at the same mall.

On Nov. 20, 2005, Dominick Maldonado told 911 dispatchers to “follow the screams” before he opened fire in the mall with an assault-style rifle, wounding seven people.

When a store employee, Dan McKown, tried talking him down, Maldonado shot him five times. McKown, a local standup comic, was permanently paralyzed by the shooting.

Maldonado then took four hostages but later surrendered. He was sentenced to 163 years in prison.

As with Friday’s shooting, shoppers took refuge in stores and backrooms in 2005 as police cleared the scene. McKown lay for an hour, bleeding internally, before help arrived.

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