Carli Disla, her boyfriend and their 6-week-old daughter were in a Cohoes fashion store, heading to the cash registers, when the couple noticed people running.
“They were yelling, ‘Hide, everyone, hide! They are shooting!'” Disla, 22, told The Associated Press in an interview via Twitter.
She and her boyfriend grabbed the newborn out of her car seat, ran to the back of the store and hid in its receiving area. The store’s security gates were pulled down and the exits locked until police and state troopers told shoppers and staffers they couldn’t leave until everything was under control, Disla said. They were allowed to leave around 9 p.m.
“It was a horrible experience and very traumatizing,” Disla said. But fortunately, the baby didn’t pick up on the fright — she slept through the whole experience.
Jeanette Bermudez told WPIX-TV she was working as a manager in a store when she suddenly heard people running so intensely they sounded like they were stomping. Bermudez and her coworkers shut the shop’s security gate and ushered shoppers into the back.
Geni Genuino was getting some food when the sound of gunshots suddenly erupted.
“Everyone started running out of the mall,” Genuino told the AP via Twitter, adding that the sound stopped for a few minutes, then seemed to start again.
Finally, Genuino found an exit and ran outside.
The mall had been open since 10 a.m. Thursday to accommodate Black Friday shoppers, and about 25,000 people visited throughout the two days, Martins said.
A call to the mall went unanswered, and a management representative did not immediately respond to an email.
Meanwhile, violence also broke out during the Black Friday rush at a mall in Syracuse, New York, where police told local media that two men were stabbed around 4:15 p.m.
It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the confrontation in a Macy’s store at Destiny USA. Officers found one man stabbed in the abdomen and another man wounded elsewhere on his body. Both are in their 20s and were taken to a hospital, police said.
The mall’s management said in a statement that the bloodshed was an “isolated incident” and “absolutely unacceptable.” The management said it “strengthens our resolve to remain vigilant.”