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Police search for gunman in Chicago-area mall shootout

December 24, 2021 GMT
People leave Oak Brook Center Mall after a reported shooting in Oak Brook, Ill. on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. Police say a shooting occurred at the mall full of Christmas shoppers in suburban Chicago, injuring four people. The incident began with two people involved in a shootout in a corridor.  (Mike Mantucca /Chicago Tribune via AP)
People leave Oak Brook Center Mall after a reported shooting in Oak Brook, Ill. on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. Police say a shooting occurred at the mall full of Christmas shoppers in suburban Chicago, injuring four people. The incident began with two people involved in a shootout in a corridor.  (Mike Mantucca /Chicago Tribune via AP)
People leave Oak Brook Center Mall after a reported shooting in Oak Brook, Ill. on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. Police say a shooting occurred at the mall full of Christmas shoppers in suburban Chicago, injuring four people. The incident began with two people involved in a shootout in a corridor.  (Mike Mantucca /Chicago Tribune via AP)
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People leave Oak Brook Center Mall after a reported shooting in Oak Brook, Ill. on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. Police say a shooting occurred at the mall full of Christmas shoppers in suburban Chicago, injuring four people. The incident began with two people involved in a shootout in a corridor. (Mike Mantucca /Chicago Tribune via AP)
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People leave Oak Brook Center Mall after a reported shooting in Oak Brook, Ill. on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. Police say a shooting occurred at the mall full of Christmas shoppers in suburban Chicago, injuring four people. The incident began with two people involved in a shootout in a corridor. (Mike Mantucca /Chicago Tribune via AP)

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — Police said Friday that they were searching for a man suspected of taking part in a shootout at a crowded suburban Chicago shopping mall in which four people were wounded, including another suspected gunman who was taken into custody.

The shootout at the Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook was between two men who apparently knew each other, Oak Brook police Chief James Kruger said. It happened at around 5:45 p.m. Thursday in a corridor of the mall, which was crowded with Christmas shoppers.

The suspected gunman who was in custody underwent surgery for gunshot wounds to his legs and back and was expected to survive, police said. Three women who were bystanders suffered non-life-threatening wounds to their legs or feet and a fourth woman broke her ankle while fleeing, said police.

“This is just a very unfortunate incident that is completely out of character for our area,” Kruger said.

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The outdoor mall is a major shopping destination about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Chicago.

Around 100 police officers, including SWAT teams, rushed to the mall and went store to store in search of the other shooter, Kruger said.

Alex Gay, 23, said she was walking in the mall when she suddenly saw people running. She didn’t hear any gunshots.

“I’m shook up,” Gay said. “It was scary. Everyone was sprinting out of the mall as sirens went over intercom saying, ‘Emergency. Evacuate. Seek shelter.’ I almost got trampled.”

Kruger said he expected the mall would reopen Friday with an increased police presence.