Wauwatosa’s police chief has released a description of the mass shooter who wounded eight people at Mayfair Mall on November 20, describing him as a white male in his 20s and 30s. The suspect remains at large.
The motive remains unclear, and no fatalities were reported. Police are still working to identify the suspect’s name. The description came from witnesses. “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.
“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,” police wrote on Twitter.
The mass shooting broke out on a Friday afternoon outside the Macy’s anchor store at the popular mall, which straddles the western edge of Milwaukee County.
“Preliminary statements from witnesses indicate that the shooter is a white male in his 20s or 30s,” wrote Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber in a news release. “Investigators are working on determining the identity of the suspect. Any information reporting the shooter’s identity at this time is false.”
The Mayfair Mall Shooter Opened Fire Outside Macy’s
Statement from Police Chief Barry Weber. Regarding shooting incident at Mayfair Mall 11/20/2020. pic.twitter.com/4dU95DFaXl
— Wauwatosa Police (WI) (@WauwatosaPD) November 20, 2020
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.”
Witnesses Described Fear & Chaos Inside the Mall
— 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.
“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.
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. There is no evidence so far that either situation is related to the Mayfair mass shooting because the gunman’s identity is not clear.
Just the other day, the city announced a severance agreement with Mensah that is worth about $130,000 to him.