Despite two recent shootings at Seattle-area shopping malls, police and security experts say malls are no less safe than other places where people congregate in large numbers, reports the Seattle Times. Said Tukwila, Wa., police spokesman Mike Murphy: “For the same reason that shoppers like to gather there, bad guys like to gather there: It’s convenient.” On Wednesday, two men opened fire in one local mall’s parking lot, wounding a 21-year-old man. The shooting sent shoppers and store employees scurrying for cover.
The shooting, less than three weeks after a 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg in a mall parking lot, left some shoppers and employees concerned about mall security. “It used to be years ago that kids threw rocks at each other. Now they’re resorting to shooting each other with bullets,” said Mick Schloff, who works at a mall T-shirt shop. There have been at least a dozen shootings at Seattle-area malls since 1997. In one of the most notorious, a 20-year-old man opened fire at a Tacoma mall in 2005, wounding seven people and taking several customers hostage before surrendering.