Early reports indicated a suspect wearing body armor and carrying a rifle entered the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall. The unidentified suspect began shooting and started to destroy security cameras at the mall. The man may also have been wearing a helmet and black clothes.
The shooting began near the mall’s official closing time, but shoppers were still inside. Stores quickly complied with a lockdown as people were evacuated. Police responded quickly and began to search for the suspect.
More than 200 police officers were at the Garden State Plaza mall, and their cars surrounded the area. One witness claimed to have seen a police car crash into a guardrail. Another witness claimed to have heard shots inside the mall before being asked to get down. The same witness added that stores turned off their lights. Other shoppers described hearing multiple shots and being forced to hide. Police were still searching for the suspect. Witnesses reported seeing the man outside of Nordstrom and the Apple store.