A rifle-toting gunman shot and killed eight people in a department store in a busy Omaha, Neb., shopping mall on Wednesday before taking his own life. At least five people were wounded, two of them critically.
The carnage erupted at the 1.2 million-square-foot Westroads Mall on the city’s west side, which has three levels and more than 135 stores and restaurants, according to the Web site of General Growth Properties, which manages the mall. The shopping center has an average of 14.5 million visitors annually and is the largest in Nebraska.
The victims were not immediately identified.
Holiday shoppers and employees barricaded themselves amid screams after the gunfire erupted, the Associated Press reported.
The gunman was found dead on the third floor of the Von Maur department store, which apparently was the position from which he opened fire. The victims were on the second and third floors.
Police had not identified a motive for the attack or whether the gunman said anything during the rampage.
President Bush was in Omaha for a political fund-raiser on Wednesday but left about one hour before the shooting.