Gunman Kills 5 in Utah Shopping Mall

A shopping mall's winding hallways became a shooting gallery for a gunman in a trench coat who fired a shotgun randomly at customers, killing five and wounding four before being killed by police, authorities and witnesses said.

The shooter, whose name was not released, also was armed with a handgun and had several rounds of ammunition, Salt Lake City police Detective Robin Snyder said early Tuesday. No motive has yet been determined, she said.

For hours after Monday evening's rampage at the Trolley Square mall, police searched stores for scared, shocked shoppers and employees who were hunkered down awaiting a safe escort.

Marie Smith, 23, a manager at the Bath & Body Works store, saw the gunman through the window. She watched as he raised his gun and fired at a young woman approaching him from behind.

"His expression stayed totally calm. He didn't seem upset, or like he was on a rampage," said Smith, who crawled to safety in an employee restroom to hide with others. She said the gunman looked like "an average Joe."

Killed were two 28-year-old women, a 52-year-old man, a 24-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl, Snyder said. Four people were hospitalized - a man and a woman in critical condition and two men in serious condition, Snyder said.

Matt Lund was visiting his wife, Barbara, manager of the Secret Garden children's clothing store, when he heard the first shots. The couple and three others hid in a storage room for about 40 minutes, isolated but still able to hear the violence.

"We heard them say, 'Police! Drop your weapon!' Then we heard shotgun fire. Then there was a barrage of gunfire," said Lund, 44. "It was hard to believe."

They said officers treated everyone like suspects - ordering those hiding in storerooms, bathrooms or under stairwells, to lie on the floor with their hands on their heads until police were sure no one posed a threat.

On the way out, Lund said, he saw a woman's body face-down at a shop entrance and a man's body on the floor in the mall's east-west corridor. "There were a lot of blown out store windows and shot gun shell casings all over the floor," Lund said. "It was quite surreal."

The victims were found throughout the 239,000-square-foot (about 22,20 square meter) shopping mall.

Outside, streets were blocked as police swarmed the four-block scene. Dozens of people lingered on the sidewalk, many wrapped in blankets, as they talked about what they had seen inside.

The two-story mall, southeast of downtown, is a refurbished trolley barn built in 1908, with a series of winding hallways, brick floors, wrought-iron balconies and about 80 stores, including high-end retailers such as Williams-Sonoma and restaurants such as the Hard Rock Cafe.

Antique store owner Barrett Dodds, 29, said he saw a man in a trench coat exchanging gunfire with a police officer outside a card store. The gunman, he said, was backed into a children's clothing store.

"I saw the shooter go down," said Dodds, who watched from the second floor.

Four police officers - one an off-duty officer from Ogden and three Salt Lake City officers - were involved in the shootout with the gunman, Snyder said. She provided no other details.

Barb McKeown, 60, was in another antique shop when two frantic women ran in and reported gunshots.

"Then we heard shot after shot after shot - loud, loud, loud," said McKeown, saying she heard about 20. She and three other people hid under a staircase until it was safe to leave.

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Associated Press writer Doug Alden in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.


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