An 8-year-old boydied after he was shot in the head during a shooting which has injured at least four people.
The young boy, Royta, was shot when a gunman opened fire inside a mall in Alabama where he was shopping with his family.
Royta’s mother said to AL.com: “When we all got up, he was the only one who didn’t get up.”
Officers confirmed at least four people were hospitalized but the conditions of the victims are still unknown.
The boy’s mother said she was out shopping with Royta, two other children, and the child’s stepfather when a gunman opened fire.
“We heard the gunshots and I grabbed them and we hit the ground,” the distressed mother said.
“That’s my baby, my firstborn,” the mother said of Royta. “To the people who did this, if I could say anything to them, it’s I don’t care about justice or anything like that.
“I wouldn’t say I’m religious, I would say I’m more spiritual, and the person who did this is going to have to answer for that whether it’s to whoever they pray to or if it’s the streets.”
In a statement, Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector said multiple shots were reported to Riverchase Galleria but it is not clear how many shooters were involved or what led to the shooting.
Annalisa Pope, a worker at the mall, said to WBMA-TV: “It wasn’t just one or two. That’s what got me off guard. They (shots) just kept going.”
The worker added: “It felt so close. 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.”
Danno Allgrove, a witness, told AL.com: “We were in the middle of talking to one of the staff members about one of the dresses and then there was a loud bang followed by at least five other small bangs.
“Immediately after the gunshots, the Torrid staff worked very quickly and efficiently to get everyone to the back of the store, to the emergency area, and they kind of kept everyone calm until they heard other people were being let out.”
Rivershase Galleria wrote on Facebook: “We are heartbroken by the tragic, senseless incident that took place in our shopping center this afternoon.”
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