[ Photo: People are evacuated from Columbia Town Center Mall after three people were killed in a shooting in the mall in Columbia of Maryland, United States, on Jan.25 (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)]
WASHINGTON, (Xinhua): Three people died and five were injured Saturday morning in a shooting that occurred in a shopping mall in Columbia of the U.S. state of Maryland, local police said.
The Howard County Police confirmed the deaths, adding that a male and a female in their 20s were shot dead outside a store where they worked.
The third dead, believed to be the shooter, was found near a gun and ammunition, the police said, adding that they were not clear about the motive behind the shooting.
Earlier TV images showed police surrounded the Columbia Mall, with about 200 stores, which is near the U.S. capital of Washington D.C. The location of the shooting was a skate shop called Zumiez on mall’s upper level.
The mall was on lockdown by police right after the incident and roads near the mall have also been closed for safety reason.
Both the Howard County police and fire departments were on the scene and local authorities via Twitter advised people to avoid the area.
So far, all people inside the mall, who were ordered to stay in place until the police cleared each area safe, have been released from the mall.
According to the police, five victims with minor injuries were transported to Howard County General Hospital and detectives are investigating the crime scene.
The police said that one injured suffered gunshot wound to foot. But condition of other four injured is still unknown.
Editor: Liu Dan