2 Injured, 1 in Custody After Shooting at Christiansburg Mall
One of the women is a student at New River Community College. The other is a part-time employee. As of Saturday night, both women are in stable condition at Roanoke Hospital.
The mall re-opened at noon on Saturday, but the community college campus will remain closed for the weekend and all classes are cancelled through Tuesday.
Police have charged 18-year-old Neil Allen MacInnis in connection with the shootings. MacInnis is a student at New River Community College.
Investigators are trying to determine if MacInnis may have announced the shootings three minutes beforehand in an online chat forum.
A gunman opened fire at mall in Christiansburg Friday afternoon. After the shooting, two women were in the hospital.
Around 2 p.m., two women were shot at the New River Valley Mall outside of Christiansburg. It happened outside a satellite campus of New River Community College, located inside the mall.
Police have 18-year-old Neil Allen MacInnis in custody for the shooting. MacInnis was a student at the school.
There is no word on the condition of one woman who was air-lifted. The other woman is in stable condition.
Eyewitnesses described a harrowing experience.
"We heard, like it got silent. And then you heard a 'chick, chick.' that's how you knew it was a shotgun. And all of a sudden we look over, the guy has it like this and tables flipped, and everybody just went everywhere. And you heard 'chick, chick' and you heard the lady say 'No, please don't shoot.' And everybody just went everywhere, just dropped to the ground and just dropped," said Mike Coleman.
Police aren't saying whether they know the shooter's motive.
Town of Christiansburg MEDIA RELEASE
(Christiansburg, VA) - At approximately 1:55 p.m. this afternoon, a male subject drove to the New River Valley Mall, located in Christiansburg.
The male subject exited his vehicle with a weapon and entered the New River Community College satellite location, which is located inside the mall.
The suspect then shot two adult females with the weapon.
The subject was subdued at the scene by an off-duty security guard for the New River Valley Mall and two Christiansburg police officers. He was in custody within five minutes.
The alleged shooter has been identified as Neil Allen MacInnis. MacInnis is 18-years-old and from Christiansburg.
MacInnis is a currently enrolled student at New River Community College.
One of the female victims was airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, while the other was taken via ambulance to LewisGale Montgomery Regional Hospital, and then transported on to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
No information is currently available regarding the injuries of both female victims.
One of the victims was a part-time employee at the college.
Police are still working to confirm the other victim's relationship with the college, if any.
The identities of the victims and any other identifying information are not being released in order to protect their privacy.
In response to this incident, law enforcement officials from the Christiansburg Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Blacksburg Police Department, Virginia Tech Police Department, the Virginia State Police, and numerous federal agencies all arrived at the scene.
An extensive sweep of the entire mall and adjoining community college was conducted.
No additional suspects or threats were found.
The mall will be closed through the evening. There is not currently an anticipated reopen date and time available.
MacInnis was transported to the Christiansburg Police Department for questioning.
MacInnis has been charged with two counts of malicious wounding and two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony. He is currently being held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail.
Investigators are still working to confirm any type of relationship between MacInnis and the victims. No motive has been established at this time. It is believed MacInnis acted alone and there are no additional threats to the community.
MacInnis completed the Christiansburg Police Department Citizens Academy program in 2012.
Many news outlets have reported about online postings that were allegedly made by MacInnis prior to today's events. That information is being investigated but it cannot be confirmed at this time whether or not any of this information is legitimate.
Montgomery County Schools were briefly locked down as a precaution following the shooting. Children in the local primary and secondary schools were not in danger at any time during this incident.
Search warrants have been conducted at numerous locations potentially linked to MacInnis.
The type of weapon used; how it was obtained; and how many shots were fired during the incident are not being released at this time due to the ongoing investigation.