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Criminal Justice experts breakdown police response to Killeen Mall shooting

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Posted at 7:13 AM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 08:47:50-05

KILLEEN, Texas — Killeen Police Officers are still on the hunt for the person responsible for the shooting a the Killeen Mall. Surveillance footage shows the suspect opening fire inside the Killeen Mall on Tuesday.

“That male, 6ft tall, with a beanie and a hoodie. He is not in custody, and we don’t know where he’s at,” said Killeen Police Department Chief Charles Kimble.

Officers are putting in around-the-clock work to investigate what is a vast and difficult scene.

“You don’t know who you’re looking for. You don’t know who the dangerous people are. You don’t know who’s posing a threat. You also have people who are genuinely in fear for their lives and maybe running towards the officers for safety,” said Former Interim Police Chief and Criminal Justice Expert Dr. Tammy Bracewell with Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

Dr. Bracewell said during an active shooter situation of this magnitude, people typically want to run even though they don’t know where the danger is coming from. That's why officers made shoppers shelter in place Tuesday evening.

“It allows officers to have access to witnesses. Allows officers to be safe while the public is also safe. It also allows officers to do their initial investigation,” said Bracewell.

While police swarmed the mall, they safely evacuated who they could while searching for clues using dogs, drones and other manpower from other agencies.

“A lot of time smaller jurisdictions rely on other jurisdictions with more resources to come in and help them because of the manpower,” said Bracewell

Bracewell said officers also do medical checks and collect video, photos and information from witnesses inside and areas outside of the mall.

“They may be able to potentially go back and trace the suspect’s steps, so they can catch them before their disguise before they're covered up,” said Bracewell.

The victim of the shooting was flown to a Bell County Hospital and is stable.