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Valley Plaza Mall reopens following Monday's shooting injuring two men, suspect at large

Valley Plaza Mall reopen following Monday's shooting injuring two men
Posted at 6:29 PM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 21:29:59-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — "Nothing stops me from shopping," Mary Santomen said.

The Valley Plaza Mall reopened Tuesday morning during regular business hours, following Monday night's shooting inside the mall, which sent two victims to the hospital.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Monday, hundreds fled the mall as gunshots rang out near the food court.

Tuesday morning, hundreds trickled back into the mall, to continue their shopping.

Kodie Solis, a customer who was shopping at the mall said she thinks "it's important to just go out and still do what you need to do and not be afraid, but still be cautious."

Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin confirming Monday that the shooting was a random act, nor an active shooter situation.

Instead, Martin described an altercation between two groups of men in their teenage years to late 20s.

The confrontation would escalate to a shooting, that would send a 15 and 20-year-old man to the hospital with moderate injuries.

A suspect, only described as a black man wearing a gray sweater, fled the scene and is still at large, according to BPD officials.

The mall released a statement saying in part, that “nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our guests.”

The released also said that they are evaluating their security protocols, which they can’t detail becaues of company policy.