Shoppers react to Eastdale Mall shooting - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Shoppers react to Eastdale Mall shooting

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Larry Gilbert says shootings happen just about everywhere and just can't be avoided anymore. Larry Gilbert says shootings happen just about everywhere and just can't be avoided anymore.
Bradley Thomas says he never would have expected a shooting at the mall, especially in broad daylight. Bradley Thomas says he never would have expected a shooting at the mall, especially in broad daylight.
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Two men are behind bars and another is in critical condition after a shooting outside Eastdale Mall.

It happened in the Sears parking lot near the west side of the mall. Police believe the suspects were attempting to rob the victim.

They say the men fled the scene only to be caught moments later.

"When we heard it we were like, 'wow'," says Montgomery resident Bradley Thomas.

Hours after the shooting, it was difficult to tell anything out of the ordinary had happened.

But news of the incident had already spread throughout the city.

"Some guys were talking about that today at work," adds Thomas.

Montgomery police say they got a call just before 3:30 in the afternoon that a man was shot multiple times and the suspects were still on the loose.

"I didn't think it was going to happen at the mall in broad daylight like that," says Thomas.

Police say after the shooting, the suspects drove to an area behind the mall, abandoned their cars and ran into a nearby neighborhood.

It wasn't long, though, before police were hot on their trail thanks to the help of a mall security officer.

"...who unarmed pursued the suspects and gave invaluable assistance to the Montgomery Police Department," says Montgomery Department of Public Safety Director, Col. Chris Murphy.

Police found the two suspects, cuffed them and hauled them to jail. The victim was taken to Baptist South in critical condition.

Some people worry this kind of incident happens all too often these days.

"These types of shootings take place pretty much everywhere. I mean from the mall to churches, you name it," says Larry Gilbert.

And while shoppers say they'll be watching their back a little more...

"You really can't avoid it. You don't know when or where," adds Gilbert.

"It isn't gonna stop me from going shopping or going to the mall or something like that," adds Thomas.

Police say the shooting was not a random incident and that shoppers should not be afraid to visit the mall.

They also said the private security officer who helped them will most likely be awarded for her bravery in pursuing the suspects.

Eastdale Mall General Manager David Schloss issued a statement following the shooting.

He said, in part, no shoppers or employees of the mall were involved in any way.

While there were witnesses, police say no one else was injured.

Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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