A man was shot at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y., in what the Nassau County Police characterized as “an old-fashioned armed robbery.”
“This was a robbery. It was not an active shooter,” said Edward Mangano, Nassau County Executive, at a press conference at the mall at around 1:40 p.m.
According to Acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, a man entered the Tourneau store at Roosevelt Field at 1 p.m. brandishing a handgun.
“The suspect walked to the high-end Rolex section and attempted to rob the store,” Krumpter said. “While exiting store, the suspect struggled with store security. He fired one shot, which went out of the store and hit a 67-year-old man, a mall employee, in the shoulder.” The victim was in serious but stable condition on Tuesday afternoon.
Police brought the suspect into custody immediately, Krumpter said. Police are investigating whether he had any accomplices.
Mangano said there was “a panic situation, pandemonium” at the mall.
However, other than the crime scene, the mall remained open throughout the incident, Mangano said.
Roosevelt Field is the dominant shopping center in Nassau County, with 2.24 million square feet of gross leasable space and anchors such Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, J.C. Penney and 270 specialty stores.
“In the day and age we live in, whenever there’s a shot fired, we respond as if there is an active shooter,” Krumpter said. “We are prepared to respond in that fashion. That response was necessary for the crime committed here today. We have a significant and very robust police detail of police officers assigned to the mall. We’ve heightened our response to these soft targets after Paris. This is how we respond in this day and age.”
Krumpter said the Garden City Police Department has worked with mall management and employees to put into place active shooter plans and rehearse active shooter drills where drop gates of stores are lowered if a suspect is believed to be in the area.
Due to the police activity at the Roosevelt Field Mall, all schools in the Garden City school district went into a lockout mode on Tuesday afternoon. “No entrance to any school is permitted until further notice,” the district said.
This was followed up by, “The police incident at Roosevelt Field has been resolved. All schools can return to normal activities.”
“Our primary concern is for the safety of the mall associates and customers,” a spokeswoman for Tourneau said.
Simon Property Group, which operates Roosevelt Field, referred media calls to the Nassau County Police Department.