Police Respond to Reports of Gunfire at NJ Shopping Mall
(NEW YORK) -- New Jersey police responded Monday night to an "active shooter" alert after shots were fired at the Garden State Plaza Mall at about 9 p.m., authorities say.
The mall was evacuated and a Bergen County spokeswoman confirmed that SWAT teams responded to the area around Nordstrom at the mall in Paramus, N.J., about 25 miles west of New York City.
County spokeswoman Jeanne Baratta said the first call came in shortly after 9 p.m. EST: "Gunman inside the mall."
"I saw like 20 police officers running with what looked like machine guns, just running into the mall," an unidentified witness told ABC News Radio.
There have been no reported injuries at this time.
Initial reports from authorities that responded to the scene had witnesses describing a potential shooter wearing tactical gear, with a backpack and wearing a helmet, a federal law enforcement source told ABC News.
Several mall employees ran to the Chili's Grill & Bar. A Chili's employee who identified himself only as Sean told ABC News that about 30 patrons and employees are holed up in the restaurant, which is about 100 yards from the mall.
One mall employee reported hearing shots fired. Police had asked people at the restaurant to stay where they are and lock down.
The Garden State Plaza Mall features more than 300 retail stores including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
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