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‘I have never in my life been this scared’: Valley View Mall employees react to the shooting

One employee said it was already a scary day in the mall before the shots went off

Police continue to investigate a shooting at Valley View Mall during one of the busiest times of the year.
Police continue to investigate a shooting at Valley View Mall during one of the busiest times of the year.

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke’s largest shopping center became a crime scene Saturday night.

A person was shot inside of Valley View Mall a little before 7 p.m., a terrifying scene for employees such as Brandi Jarvis.

“Just a pop, pop, pop. That’s when everybody realized it was a shooting. People started running in the store. We tried to rush as many customers in the back as we could,” said Jarvis.

Molly Cummings, another mall employee, spoke to 10 News about her experience as well.

“I have worked in this mall at many different stores for five years now, and I have never in my life been this scared,” she said.

As law enforcement agencies from all across the area converged on Valley View, Police Chief Sam Roman outlined what happened within.

“There was some kind of argument in the mall between two different groups of people. During that incident, shots were fired which resulted in one injury,” said Roman during a press conference.

Cummings says it was already a scary day in the mall before the shots went off.

“Throughout the day, the crowd was rowdy. It was rowdy all day long. We saw security guards and a few police officers in here just trying to dial people down,” she said.

As officers continue to investigate, those who were inside tried their best to comprehend what they witnessed.

“Pure terror. Not knowing what was going on, not knowing if someone was hurt, I don’t know. It was horrible,” said Jarvis.

Most of the employees have been out of the mall for hours, but Chief Roman said a few were still sheltered in place when he talked to media earlier Saturday night.

Officers and first responders from as far away as Botetourt County were still on the scene as of 11 p.m. Saturday.