Shoppers Recount Fleeing, Sheltering After Gunshot Heard Inside Tulsa Mall

Friday, October 16th 2020, 9:41 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

Woodland Hills shoppers said they sheltered in place or fled with crowds after police said a man shot himself inside the mall's food court.

Tulsa Police said a man was sitting at a table in the food court Friday afternoon, when a gun that was in his pants pocket went off. TPD said they talked to witnesses who told them the gunshot seemed to surprise the man as much as it surprised them. Officers say this may have been an accidental discharge but say they have not been able to find the man in question.

Related Story: Police Responding After Shots Fired At Woodland Hills Mall

Cell phone video shows shoppers fleeing Woodland Hills. Brandy Smith said she was with her two daughters inside Bath and Body Works, and they hunkered down.

"One of the employees yelled, was that a gunshot, and next thing you see everybody running, so I look for my kids are close, and we take off for the back of the store,” Smith said. “Just tried to find safety because I didn't know what was going on.”

Smith said store employees locked down as police arrived and began investigating. She said one thought was running through her mind.

"To protect my kids, that was the biggest thing," Smith said.

Other shoppers were on the first floor of the mall and ran with the crowd after they heard the gunshot.

Paola Tristan Arruda and her friends were in Forever 21 as people ran past.

"We just saw sort of chaos all around us, people running out, nobody really knew what was going on," Paola Tristan Arruda said.

She said the employees there told everyone to leave the store. Both Arruda and the Smith family said they're relieved to know shoppers were not hurt.

"Because I mean the worst possible scenario was going through my mind, and I stayed on the phone with my husband the whole time," Smith said.