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Reports are coming in very quickly, but we are seeing reports of an active shooter in the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, NJ.  The Garden State Plaza is only about five minutes from my home in northern NJ, so clearly this is a big deal for my family and neighbors.

Here is an initial report from NBC New York:

Police are searching for a gunman inside the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, N.J., law enforcement sources say.

The mall was closed at 9:30 p.m. as police swarmed the scene.

Witnesses told NBC 4 New York a man dressed in all black was carrying a rifle and started firing shots inside the mall.

It wasn't immediately clear if anyone was hit.

You can also watch Anderson Cooper 360 live on CNN here - - you may have to sign in with your cable account information.

If you are interested in watching a local NJ news feed, you can check out the NJ News 12 live feed here (h/t to StonyB)

A police scanner feed is now live online.  You can listen here.  (h/t to mahakali overdrive)

Currently on Anderson Cooper 360 (current time of 10:15pm EST) there are a few workers on the phone who are currently trapped in the mall.  One gentleman described seeing "heavy police presence" - upwards of 25 local, state, and SWAT officers.

Apparently the active shooter was dressed in all black and has a rifle.  Not sure if he/she has been detained yet.  Updates coming in swiftly.

Another report form CBS New York has more information:

PARAMUS N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police responded in force Monday evening after shots were fired inside the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall.

The shots were reported inside the mall, sometime before the mall in Paramus, N.J. closed for the night at 9:30 p.m.


An employee told 1010 WINS she was locked in the basement of the mall.

“I was at the mall, and I saw a bunch of people running a bunch of people yelling, ‘There’s a shooting! There’s a shooting!” said Joseph Elfar, a Rutgers student. “So me and my friend were at the Sprint store, and we start running out. We start running towards the exit, and a lot of people were running out the mall.

Further details were not immediately available.

UPDATE - 10:20pm - one witness describes that active shooter may possibly be wearing a black, tactical vest.  Cautioned that the witness only saw a quick glance of the active shooter, though multiple witnesses are describing someone dressed in all black.

Current person on air with Anderson Cooper reported hearing two quick shots, then a brief pause, then two more shots with another small pause in between shots 3 and 4.  Was right by the in-mall Nordstrom entrance.  Workers are still on lock down in their stores.

UPDATE - 10:26pm - from the NJ State Police, via Anderson Cooper.  NJ State Police saying that shooter was shooting at security cameras, no reports of injuries.  No verified witness description of shooter.

UPDATE - 10:29pm - an article from (which is the online presence of the Bergen Record newspaper - for Bergen County, NJ, where the GSP is located) describes more accounts of an individual dressed in all black, including a black helmet.

Althea Brown, 26, of Paterson said she was in Talbots, a clothing store in the mall, when she saw the man walk by.

“He looked at me and kept on walking,” she said. She said she heard three shots, then two more. The man appeared to be wearing body armor, and had the visor of his helmet pulled up as he walked, she said.

A current Bergen County official on Anderson Cooper is saying that there are no reported injuries and apparently only one shooter, but has not been apprehended yet.

Another worker is describing hearing 2 or 3 loud gunshots from the Nordstrom store.

UPDATE - 10:37pm - some workers from a nearby store are currently being interview on ABC 7 New York news.  Apparently mall security responded extremely quickly, which so far seems to have helped people get out quickly.  Given that it's the start of the holiday season for shopping, there likely are a lot more security guards at this time of year.  Workers and shoppers left very quickly after hearing the pops of gunshots.

UPDATE - 10:40pm - an update to the CBS New York article says that a "mass casualty" unit is being called for: (h/t to jan4insight)

The man firing the shots was reportedly walking around in full body gear and a helmet, with an assault rifle.

An estimated 200 police units were on the scene, and a mass-casualty unit was required.

A witness tweeted that a shooting happened “over by Nordstrom on the second floor.”

UPDATE - 10:55pm - local reporter on CNN is now reporting that police say that shooter possibly left the mall, but nothing confirmed yet.  A bunch of police vehicles were seen driving away from a parking lot.  Could be leaving mall entirely or driving to another part of the mall.

Also, here is a Google Maps link of the mall.  As you can see, the mall footprint is enormous.  The Garden State Plaza is the 15th largest mall in America.

UPDATE - 11:03pm - reports from police on scene say that they believe the shooter is still inside the mall.  No reason given.

UPDATE - 11:08pm - reports of a shell casing has been found.  Still no reports of injuries, hopefully this will remain so.

If you are interested in watching a local NJ news feed, you can check out the NJ News 12 live feed here (h/t to StonyB)

UPDATE - 11:16pm - from the NJ News 12 feed above, still in search of the shooter.  A few thousand people still in the mall, trying to evacuate.  The mall closes at 9:30pm on Mondays, so the shooting occurred very close to closing.  The NJ State Police believe the rifle is a "long armed rifle" based on the shell casing recovered.  Since only one casing has been recovered, possible that only one shot, but many witnesses report multiple shots with pauses in between.

UPDATE - 11:22pm - some new information coming in from News 12 NJ.  Police believe that the scene is no longer classified as an "active shooter" and that the shooter is believed to have left the mall.  My fellow northern NJ residents, please stay in tonight and be careful.  The mall remains on lock down; people remaining in the mall are only allowed to leave when escorted by police officers.  They are going store to store to cover everything.  The Garden State Plaza has over 2 million square feet of space, so this could be an all-night ordeal to evacuate everyone.

UPDATE - 11:38pm - new major report and different account from Eyewitness on CNN (via PIX 11 New York).  Young man (named Johnny Jimenez (sp?)) says he has a Navy background and is describing hearing two different types of gunfire.  Says he actually saw someone shoot a trigger.  Possible more than one shooter; at minimum multiple people with the one shooter.  Was shooting at cameras first, not aiming at people.  Then witness ran away.

Also, on News 12 NJ, a new cell phone video from inside the mall is being shown.

UPDATE - 11:40pm - A police scanner feed is now live online.  You can listen here.  (h/t to mahakali overdrive)

UPDATE - 12:02am - updated report from the Star Ledger says that the shooter is no longer in the mall.  This was reported by the Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera.  News 12 NJ is also reporting this.  There is a massive police presence, so authorities are saying that neighboring homes should be fine, but if you are in Paramus or a nearby town, stay away from windows.

Apparently the police have security video footage of the shooter, and they are trying to use this to identify him.

UPDATE - 12:14am Some photos from inside the mall are now being posted on Twitter:

Also, some unconfirmed reports are coming fast from Daily Kos members who live close by and have friends near the scene.  You can read throughout the diary text to see them, but until confirmed elsewhere I'll keep them out of the diary body.

UPDATE - 12:32am OK, I have to head off to bed.  Other members can update via comments (or start their own diary if so desired).  Major hat tip to mahakali overdrive for some fast paced updates.  These are first hand accounts, so still have to be confirmed, but we'll see how much new info from on the ground gets confirmed.

I hope that there continues to be no injuries and that the shooter is apprehended.

Originally posted to mconvente on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:13 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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