NEW YORK - NYPD officers responded to multiple 911 calls of an active shooter inside the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn on Monday afternoon to find a 14-year-old boy across the street from the mall with a gunshot wound to the leg.
"Everyone was just running, leaving their belongings and running out," a woman named Magdelyn inside the mall during the shooting said.
Police evacuated and closed the mall and then reviewed security footage, which Assistant Chief Michael Kemper said showed a group of three young men in a first-floor sneaker store arguing with a different group of six young men entering the store, before one of the group of three pulled a gun and shot at the group of six, striking the 14-year-old in the leg and grazing a 16-year-old.
Police later arrested three men they believe to be the shooter and his two accomplices, three avenues over from the mall, seizing two illegal guns. Kemper, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, revealed the 19-year-old apparent shooter was out on bail after police arrested him in November for illegal possession of four guns.
"And here he is in Kings Plaza, armed with another gun, firing shots in a mall, which is open," Kemper said.
One of the apparent shooter's suspected accomplices was also out awaiting sentencing, after shooting someone in 2019.
Monday's mall shooting occurred on the same day more than 200 business, labor and civic leaders signed an open letter in support of the mayor's Blueprint to End Gun Violence, unveiled a week ago in response to the killing of two police officers in Harlem, and the shootings of an 11-month-old in a parked car and a 19-year-old in a Burger King.
"Out of control," Rep. Adriano Espaillat said. "We must take stern measures."
Espaillat represents parts of the Bronx and upper Manhattan and called for the creation of a multi-state task force to shut down the gun traffickers supplying the guns used in these shootings.
"The Iron Pipeline must be broken," Mayor Eric Adams said a week ago.
Experts estimate 80% of the unknown quantity of illegal guns on the street in this city come from out of state.
"Why aren't we combining our resources to stop the flow of guns?" Adams said Monday.
President Joe Biden travels to New York City to meet with Adams later this week to discuss how the federal government might help New York to combat gun violence.
Kings Plaza features a wide variety of stores including Primark, Burlington, Zara, Macy's, and Michael Kors, according to its website. It is located in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn.
Emergency vehicles are seen outside of Kings Plaza Shopping Center on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.