Tullahoma Police are investigating after a person was shot inside Northgate Mall Thursday afternoon. According to Police Chief Jason Williams, a verbal altercation inside the mall area turned violent and a white male produced a gun and shot, injuring one person. Mall patrons were evacuated to their cars in the parking lot, according to one witness.
The injured individual was originally transported to Tennova Healthcare - Harton before being transported by helicopter to another hospital.
The alleged shooter fled the scene in a white sedan, according to Williams. Law enforcement officials are currently searching for the individual.
According to one witness inside Claire's, she saw the victim come running around the corner from the arcade claiming he had been shot. The witness identified him as a young white male.
At that time, all the interior shop owners closed and locked their gates for safety and waited until the coast was clear, she said.
When no one else followed the victim, the witness said two customers of Cali Nails salon came out to help the young man and applied pressure to his wound until police arrived. She added the victim seemed responsive to the police officer who arrived within minutes of her calling 911.
According to the witness, more police arrived to tape off the scene and photograph it and collect evidence. Emergency Medical Service personnel soon arrived and transported the victim to an ambulance.
The inside portion of the mall was sealed off while police conducting their investigation. Other stores in the area with front-facing entrances, such as J.C. Penney, Burke's Outlet, Harbor Freight and more were allowed to continue operating, according to mall management.
Once police concluded their investigation inside the mall and collected evidence, mall management closed that portion of the building early.
One mall official told The News they were calling a hazmat cleanup crew to take care of the scene. They said it was possible the mall would reopen Friday morning, though they did not know at that time.
Multiple reports of an arrest made at Tullahoma Lanes were proven untrue by police officials. Instead, one officer told The News police were following a lead that turned out to be "not credible."
Shortly after the mall scene was cleared, multiple law enforcement agencies convened on an East Lincoln Street home. Police officials told The News they were following up a lead about a person matching a "possible description" of the shooter. TPD officials later confirmed the occupant of the East Lincoln Street home was a "person of interest" in the case and was taken to TPD for questioning.
As of 9 p.m. Thursday night, there have been no arrests made in the case, according to TPD officials.
Erin McCullough may be reached at email@example.com.