Brief scare at St. Louis Galleria over report of shots fired

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Police are investigating reports of an "active shooter" at the St. Louis Galleria shopping mall in Richmond Heights on Thursday.

Authorities confirmed an arrest, but prosecutors have not filed charges, citing a lack of evidence.

There was no evidence of shots being fired, police said. However, shopper Cassandra Clements of Overland said she knows what she saw and heard.

“Somebody yelled, ‘He has a gun,’” she told Fox 2/News 11. “I heard three shots as I running towards the back area of the store.”

Clements and her daughter were shopping at the Torrid store between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

She said there was a disturbance in the corridor outside the store near the walkway to the parking garage, followed by a stampede of people away from that walkway.

Clements said she heard gunshots and a store employee heard two more.

It’s unclear if the shots came from the parking garage or inside the mall. The store manager barricaded a total of seven people in a back room using large boxes to block the door. They remained behind the barricade for about 40 minutes until getting an “all clear” from a police dispatcher.

“My daughter was in a dressing room near the area where we went. As I was going back there, I grabbed her from the dressing room and we all ran back there, all of us,” Clements said. “They were crying. They were also texting their family and letting them know they were ok.”

The police scene appears to have been behind the mall near the parking garage, not inside the mall.

Investigators will seek a municipal charge in this case but are releasing no more details.

Clements is calling on mall owners to allow "concealed-carry" in the mall in the interest of shopper safety, she said.

A mall spokeswoman issued the following statement Friday evening:

To clarify, there was no active shooter at St. Louis Galleria. Last night’s incident was isolated and handled quickly by the Richmond Heights Police Department. We ask all queries are directed to them at this time.