AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD boy was killed after a gunman opened fire in a busy shopping centre in the US.
The incident occurred at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama, this past Friday, July 3.
A young girl and two other adults were also injured in the shooting.
According to police, officers were called to the shopping centre following reports of multiple shots being fired near the food court inside.
The mall was evacuated in the aftermath of the shooting.
Police are continuing to investigate the potential motives behind the shooting.
In a statement to the press, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said: “This is certainly a tragic situation when you have an innocent child who gets caught in the middle of an altercation between others.”
Annalisa Pope, who works inside the shopping centre, described to WBMA-TV how she heard six to seven shots fired.
“It wasn’t just one or two,” she said. “That’s what got me off guard. They (the shots) just kept going.”
Pope said the gunshots “sounded like they were coming from every direction.”
“It felt so close,” she added. “It was so surreal. It doesn’t even feel real right now. You wouldn’t expect something like that to happen out of nowhere on a normal, Friday afternoon.”
Hoover police are appealing for anyone who was in the mall and witnessed the shooting to call authorities.
Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said he visited the boy’s parents on Friday evening.
“This was just a very senseless tragedy and of course they are devastated by this,” he said.