Mall shoppers, employees fear for life as shots were fired inside food court

Posted: Updated:
JERSEY CITY -

A Jersey City mall reopened on Saturday after shots were fired in the food court.

Officials say Newport Centre Mall went on lockdown around 6 p.m. Friday following gunshots that left two men critically injured.

Officials, who have identified the men as Jaleel Holmes and Gerald Harris, say the shooting stemmed from a fight. They are working to determine if the two men shot each other or if a third person was involved.

One of the men was shot in the stomach, while the other was shot in the abdomen. No other injuries were reported.

The men are both listed to be in critical condition. Police say they ran out of the mall and admitted themselves separately to the Jersey City Medical Center where officers caught up to them.

They say Holmes was wanted by police on a separate attempted murder charge.

The mall was closed Saturday until 1 p.m. Employees at the mall say they're concerned for their safety despite an increased police presence, including K9s.

"My life's in danger I feel," said Walter Flores, who works at the mall. "And I left just in time yesterday before the shooting. I left two minutes before the shooting."

Officials commended the swift and quick reaction by Jersey City police, Port Authority police, and NJ Transit police – saying the men and women's preparation paid off.

They say they're reviewing security footage and will determine what exactly happened.

“It’s going to be a long investigation,” said James Shea the Jersey City Public Safety Director. “There's massive video coverage in this mall. We're very confident we'll know exactly what happened and that we will hold the people responsible.”

Officials say they are also looking into whether Holmes' charge from three days ago is connected to this case.

 

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