Galleria Mall Shooting at American Eagle Reports Spark Panic

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The scene at the Galleria Mall.

A possible shooting inside the American Eagle store at the Galleria Mall in Middleton, New York has left two people reportedly injured, New York State police confirmed to PIX11. However, other news reports said only that police were responding to a report of shots fired.

Furthermore, it’s not yet clear whether the victims were injured because they were shot or were wounded while trying to evacuate in the panic that ensued. Details are often conflicting in the immediate aftermath of shooting reports.

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News12 Hudson Valley reported that there was not an active shooter at large. “State police say they have evacuated a store at the Galleria at Crystal Run mall in Middletown amid reports of a possible shooting. Police say the American Eagle store was evacuated. Authorities say they don’t believe it’s an active-shooter situation,” the station reported. Spectrum News HV reported that state police said they were responding to reports of shots fired at the mall.

However, WCVB-TV also reported: “A description of the suspect isn’t available, and witnesses report at least two victims with gunshot wounds.” That television station also said it’s not believed there is currently an active shooter.

News of the shooting hit social media first on Sunday, November 26, 2017 in the midst of a busy Thanksgiving shopping weekend. The social media reports also focused on the American Eagle store inside the mall and said that people were being evacuated from the shopping center. Photos circulating on social media showed a massive law enforcement response to the mall.

People expressed concern on social media. “Stay away from the galleria in Middletown, the mall has been evacuated. Active police presence,” wrote one. “Active shooter at the Galleria in Middletown. Praying everyone is OK,” wrote another. However, sometimes inaccurate information spreads on social media in the immediate aftermath of shooting reports. For example, the same weekend, false reports of a shooting at a mall in Hialeah also provoked a panic. It turned out that something had fallen in the Florida mall, and people mistakenly thought it was gunshots.

Here are some of the Twitter reports on the shooting:

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Although news reports quickly said there was no active shooter at large, social media reports contributed to panic. “There was just an active shooter at my local mall. Thankfully I was just pulling in when it happened and I didn’t get into the mall. There was miles of police cars and and ambulances and fire trucks. @ABC7NY it was crystal run Galleria,” wrote one person on Twitter.

People expressed concern about loved ones as the news spread. “Found out that there was a shooting in the galleria mall and first person I called was my mom to make sure everyone was safe,” one woman wrote on Twitter.

This article will be updated as more is learned.

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