Thousands Evacuate After Shot Fired Inside Orange County Mall
Two minor injuries are reported, and the shooter is still at large.
Galleria at Crystal Run
Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons
UPDATE (12/1/2017): 27-year-old Pennsylvania resident Michael Perez Rodriguez has been charged with felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor assault related to the incident. Following three days on the run, he turned himself in to Sullivan County police overnight, admitting that he fired one shot while at the the Galleria at Crystal Run on Sunday with his pregnant wife and two children. He was was arraigned on Wednesday with a bail set at $2,500.
The search continued Monday afternoon for a man who, police say, shot a handgun inside a crowded Orange County mall on Sunday. A mother and her son sustained minor lacerations from flying debris, and thousands of shoppers and employees were evacuated, according to published reports.
Town of Wallkill Police Chief Robert Hertman said his department received a 911 call at 3:07 p.m. of a shot fired at the Galleria at Crystal Run on North Galleria Drive in Middletown. A man apparently discharged a single round from a handgun into the floor in front of the American Eagle store on the second floor; it is unknown if the shooting was intentional.
Witnesses said mall staff acted immediately to rush shoppers either out of the mall or to the back of shops, closing security gates that led into the center of the mall. Over the next several hours, state and local police canvassed the property and evacuated each store.
Multiple fire departments and ambulance corps responded; a Goshen woman and her 12-year-old son, who the chief said were about five to 10 feet from the suspect, were scraped in the legs by shattered debris after the gun went off. They were treated at Orange Regional Medical Center.
The suspect, described as wearing a dark blue sweatshirt and gray pants, remained at large on Monday.