Shooting at South Carolina mall leaves 12 people injured

The attack happened at St Stephen's Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

The attack happened at St Stephen's Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo: Getty

A clash between rival groups is being blamed for a shootout at a South Carolina mall that sent 12 people to hospital with gunshot wounds and other injuries.

“We don’t believe this was random. We believe they knew each other and something led to the gunfire,” Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said.

Ten people were shot and two others injured in the incident in South Carolina’s capital.

Three people who had firearms have been detained in connection with the Saturday afternoon shooting at Columbiana Centre.

Chief Holbrook said at least one of those three people fired a weapon.

Authorities said no fatalities had been reported but that eight of the shooting victims were taken to the hospital.

Of those eight, two were in critical condition and six were in stable condition, Holbrook said. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 73, he said.

Rush for the exits

The mall was being evacuated store-by-store and police urged anyone still sheltering inside to call emergency services so that authorities could find them.

Workers from a couple of stores clustered in the mostly empty parking lot on Saturday evening said they had not heard or seen anything during the shooting but followed the mall’s alert system and were evacuated by police shortly after.

They said they had been waiting hours ever since for police to let them back inside to retrieve their car keys and personal belongings so they could leave.

“Today’s isolated, senseless act of violence is extremely upsetting and our thoughts are with everyone impacted,” Columbiana Centre said in a statement.

“We are grateful for the quick response and continued support of our security team and our partners in law enforcement.”

-with AAP

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