OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Hundreds of people were inside Westroads Mall as a shooting occurred on Saturday, many either hiding in bathrooms and closets or some evacuating the mall immediately.
I spoke with some of those people about their experience and being reunited with loved ones.
“I told my mom and my boyfriend that [I love them] because I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Celia Davis of Omaha. “It was really scary.”
Davis and her 3-year-old daughter were pulled into a bathroom with roughly 10 strangers, all anxiously waiting for help just moments after shots were fired.
NEW: Celia Davis and her 3-year-old daughter were caught inside #westroadsmall following the shooting.— Kent Luetzen (@KentLuetzen) April 17, 2021
They were pulled into a bathroom by strangers and left waiting for help.
She texted her mom and boyfriend "I love you guys" while she bunkered down. pic.twitter.com/ILimfjAx2m
“I was shaking and she kept whispering to me, ‘Mommy, I want to go home,’ and I was like, ‘I know, we’ll go home' and finally the cops came and got us,” Davis said.
The scene outside grew as law enforcement surrounded the building and family and friends gathered, waiting to be reunited with their loved ones who were hiding throughout the mall.
Cole Melia of Omaha stood by until his girlfriend was safely back in his arms.
“It’s just something that can’t be put into words,” he said. “The thought of potentially losing somebody that [you’re] close to and everything else... it’s just unexplainable.”
LATEST: Omaha Police Department is reporting the suspect of a mall shooting is still at large. One person is in critical condition. pic.twitter.com/ma0zxLNpZd— Kent Luetzen (@KentLuetzen) April 17, 2021
Although many are walking away unharmed physically, Davis says it will take her days to emotionally overcome what she experienced. She adds that her trip to the mall to get shoes has now left her scarred.
“When it actually happens to you, you don’t even understand the feeling,” she said. “It’s just like anxious and you just don’t know if it’s going to end or not. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to come back here again.”