VALLEY STREAM - Police are searching for a man they say fired a gun inside Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, Long Island on Monday morning when he was confronted for stealing.
Nassau County police said the suspect opened fire on the second floor of the mall and once he ran out to the garage without pants on, he got into a red SUV.
The mall went into lockdown for 30 minutes and nearby schools were in a lockout to prevent anyone from entering.
Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said the suspect walked into the Clique clothing store at around 11:15 AM and was stealing clothes by layering them on himself. He was confronted by store employees.
"He pulled the gun out. The gun went off [and] shot a bullet into the ground. We recovered that bullet and the shell casing," Ryder said.
Police say when he came into the mall, he was wearing a red shirt and grey pants.
"When he left the mall getting into the car, he had a red shirt on and his boxer shorts," Ryder said. "He apparently started to strip off the layers of clothes and left in his boxer shorts and one sneaker."
Ivan Kumar owns a jewelry store in the mall.
"As soon as I got here, I just saw everybody outside," Kumar said. "I saw several cop cars and I saw helicopters outside, so we’re just closing up for today."
One couple didn’t even get out of the car once they heard about the shooting.
"We brought both of our kids with us," the wife said. "We definitely don’t want to go in."
No injuries were reported.
The suspect is described as a man in his early 20s, standing 5'9" tall, with a thin build and black hair with blonde-colored tips. He was last seen wearing a red shirt with white insignia, blue jeans and a gray hooded sweatshirt.
Police told FOX 5 NY that they had recovered evidence from the scene and are confident they'll find the suspect.
Detectives are requesting anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS or call 911. Police say all callers will remain anonymous.