An active shooter wounded eight people inside Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, the mayor and police chief are confirming. The majority of victims were located near the Macy’s store, but none has died. The shooter is at large.
“”Investigators are working tirelessly to identify and apprehend the suspect from yesterday’s shooting at Mayfair Mall. We ask that any witnesses to the incident please contact the Wauwatosa Police Department at 414-471-8430,” police wrote on Nov. 21.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber described the suspect as a white male in 20s and 30s, in a press statement.
“Preliminary statements from witnesses indicate that the shooter is a white male in his 20s or 30s. Investigators are working on determining the identity of the suspect. Any information reporting the shooter’s identity at this time is false.”
Police later released this statement: “Preliminary investigation has led us to believe that this shooting was not a random act, and was the result of an altercation. We will continue to work diligently to interview the many witnesses, as well as the victims who were injured, to identify and apprehend the suspect…The Mayfair Mall property has been cleared and is secure. Mayfair Mall management has indicated that the mall will be closed tomorrow, Saturday, November 21. Law enforcement personnel will remain at the mall into the night processing the scene.”
According to the statement from Weber, the shooting broke out at 2:50 p.m. on November 20. Police received 911 calls “reporting a shooting incident at Mayfair Mall near the northwest entrance to Macy’s.” The shooter was “no longer at the scene” when police and fire personnel responded.
Seven adults and one teenager were injured and taken to the hospital.
The press release says that the extent of the injuries is unknown at this time.
Mayfair mall is closed with an active crime scene. Police asked members of the public to remain away from the area and be patient so law enforcement personnel may secure the scene and investigate.
Numerous law enforcement agencies are assisting with clearing the Mayfair Mall property. Those seeking to reunify with anyone should go to the reunification area at the At Home store.
The mayor, Dennis McBride, gave this statement to ABC News:
“The Wauwatosa Police Department is currently involved in an active shooter incident at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. Through the WPD’s Public Information Officer, more information will be released as if becomes available and is confirmed. Multiple injured victims have and are being transported from the north end of the Macy’s Department Store. None of the victims’ injuries appear to be life threatening. The perpetrator is ‘at-large’ at this time. There are approximately 75 police officers on scene at this time. It will take time to provide additional, and perhaps, more accurate information, but information will be provided as it becomes available.”
— ABC News (@ABC) November 20, 2020
A witness told WISN that the first shot sounded really loud. “I knew right away it was a gunshot,” she said. “They just started coming one after the other and we dropped to the ground and then ran.”
— Cassidy Williams (@CassidyWtv) November 20, 2020
Another woman wrote on Twitter, “just experienced my first mayfair mall shooting & my anxiety is on 100000.” Another wrote, “idk what the f*ck is happening but i’m sitting in p.f. chang’s and people are RUNNING out of mayfair mall. no one is telling us what’s going on.”
Another woman wrote: “I was just inside Mayfair to pick up an online purchase and there were a bunch of gunshots. I hit the floor and eventually went out a back door and am in my car. I’m fine. But holy sh*t…I heard one gunshot but didn’t realize what it was, It sounds like someone knocked over a display or something. Then shortly thereafter there was a bunch more shots. It was clear then. I dropped to my knees and hid behind a display. Lots of people started running for the back of the store, but I was worried about them shooting into the store so I stayed hidden. Once I heard noise in the mail hallway I snuck myself to the back of the store, used the emergency exit and ran through the mall back hallways til I was outside. Cops etc were just showing up as I got out the door.”
People wrote on social media that they knew people holed up in a stock room at Macy’s; people reported seeing people on stretchers and six people wounded. “#FBIMilwaukee currently responding to support local law enforcement tactical response to Mayfair Mall shooting incident,” the FBI tweeted.
WISN-TV reported that three people were alert when brought out on stretchers.
Be aware that the reports are very preliminary, and it’s not uncommon for information to change or even be false in the early stages of active shooter situations. The report of multiple people shot came from preliminary police radio broadcasts.
“MCMEO is NOT responding to Mayfair Mall. We are responding to the homicide of an adult male in the 4800 blk of W. Hampton. @MilwaukeePolice investigating,” the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner wrote on Twitter.
“Shooting at Mayfair Mall with multiple victims. Only main dispatch channels are being broadcasted,” read the alert at Broadcastify, which publishes live scanner audio.
UPDATE – The shooter is still at large and the FBI is now on the scene after a shooting at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa.pic.twitter.com/Nuq5wauacI
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) November 20, 2020
Mayfair Mall has been the focal point of protests and unrest for months into the fatal shooting by a soon-to-be former Police Officer, Joseph Mensah, of an armed teenager named Alvin Cole. The Cole death was Mensah’s third fatal shooting on duty. Cole died in the parking lot of the mall. A MAGA rally to support President Trump was scheduled for November 21. As with the Mensah situation, there is no evidence that it’s related to the mass shooting.
BREAKING – Multiple people shot at Mayfair Mall, Wauwatosa, WI. Major police response and 10 ambulances being requested to the scene. This story is developing.pic.twitter.com/THAbkT7kiw
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) November 20, 2020
Just the other day, the city announced a severance agreement with Mensah that is worth about $130,000 to him. The agreement says the city will give him 13 months pay, a severance payment of $15,000, will pay $19,500 into his deferred compensation plan, and will pay its share of his health insurance for 13 months.
Reports of the possible active shooter spread on Twitter.
there’s an active shooter at Mayfair mall right now oh my god
— 🍓maha (@burntsamosas) November 20, 2020
Mayfair Mall Active Shooter Motive Unclear
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 20, 2020
It’s not clear whether the active shooting is related to the Mensah situation, to be clear. However, there’s no question that the mall has born the brunt of the anger toward police and Mensah follow9ing the Cole shooting, which came in the parking lot as the armed teen fled police and then discharged his firearm first. Tensions boiled over in the summer at Mensah’s girlfriend’s house when a member of the People’s Revolution is accused of discharging his gun at the then-officer, who wasn’t injured in that incident.
Each of the men shot by Mensah was armed or, by Mensah’s account, reaching for a gun. A former US Attorney then wrote a report critical of Mensah by raising the possibility he could end up in a hypothetical fourth shooting. All of the shootings were ruled justified by the DA. Mensah and the city then reached an agreement where Mensah would resign.