NEW YORK — Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., remained closed Tuesday in the wake of a shooting incident that left the lone gunman dead of a self-inflicted wound.
Shoppers and employees of the sprawling 2.2-million-square-foot mall were unharmed, but some were trapped inside the mall on Monday night, which was under lockdown while authorities searched for the gunman. He was identified as 20-year-old Richard Shoop of Teaneck, N.J.
“First and foremost, the safety of Westfield Garden State Plaza shoppers and employees is paramount and always a priority; and we are so very grateful that all our customers and employees are safe,” Westfield Group said. “We are also very thankful for the rapid and comprehensive response of local and regional law enforcement. Per Bergen County authorities, Garden State Plaza will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 5. We will continue to advise of the mall’s operational schedule. Clearly, yesterday’s event heightens everyone’s state of awareness and concern. Our security precautions reflect that heightened state. Once cleared to reopen, we will continue to work with law enforcement and public safety officials to keep our shopping center safe.”
The terror began at about 9:20 p.m. when a gunman reportedly dressed in black with a motorcycle helmet and possibly wearing body armor and carrying a rifle made to look like an AK-47 entered the mall near Nordstrom. He fired random shots as he allegedly walked through the mall brandishing the weapon. About 500 SWAT and law enforcement officials descended on the mall. Meanwhile, 400 shoppers and employees were reportedly trapped inside as police conducted a sweep of the facility after the shooter had been discovered dead.
The incident took place just as retailers were advertising their holiday promotions.
In an update on its Facebook page, Garden State Plaza said Tuesday that it would open today at 6 a.m. for retailers and their employees so they could prepare their stores and collect any personal items left behind. It will open to the public at 10 a.m.
David Levenberg, former vice president of security for General Growth Properties Inc., said there are still unanswered questions. “How did he get the rifle in there?” he asked. “Was it visible from the parking lot? What happened once the gunfire erupted? Some witnesses said they weren’t told what to do or where to go.”
The National Retail Federation produced active shooter training for the retail industry several years ago. “Malls try to do two full-scale evacuation drills a year,” said Malachy Kavanagh, a spokesman for the the International Council of Shopping Centers. “They can’t do enough training because there’s a lot of retail turnover. The Department of Homeland Security created a program that deals with active shooters. It’s very much on everybody’s radar screen.”
In fact, Richard Mellor, a security expert who serves as vice president of loss prevention at the NRF, had a previously scheduled meeting with the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, the organization said.
The Garden State Plaza mall gets 20 million visitors a year and rings up over $400 million in sales. One of the largest centers in New Jersey, it’s also one of the busiest and most productive in the state.
The last active shooter incident in a mall occurred in December 2012 outside Portland, Ore. In September, the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, N.Y., was under lockdown after a gunman shot two people at a nearby office complex. “They’re a rarity,” Kavanagh said of mall shootings, but added, “In society, shootings seem to be happening more often.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)