A Long Island mall was locked down after a shot was fired inside by a man believed to have been shoplifting, and then took off without any pants on, according to police.
The incident occurred just after 11 a.m. Monday at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, according to police. A man inside the Clique clothing store was suspected of shoplifting clothing by putting them on in layers above his clothes, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
When the suspect, who has not been identified, was confronted by a story security guard, the pair got into a struggle, according to Ryder. That’s when the man said he had a gun, which then went off.
The shot went into the ground, according to police. No one was struck by the bullet and no injuries were reported as a result.
The mall immediately went into a lockdown, while schools in the area also went into a lockout as a precaution, said Ryder.
After the scuffle with security, the man took off, running out the the south side of the mall and through the parking garage where he got into a red SUV. Ryder said that the vehicle was last seen driving down nearby Mill Road.
The police commissioner said the suspect ran off with no pants on and wearing just one sneaker, fleeing in his boxers after trying to strip off the clothing he was allegedly trying to steal.
“Whatever clothes he was stealing, he was layering as he was leaving. As he went to go leave…he started to strip the clothes,” said Ryder. “So some of the clothes he was wearing were stripped off. He was in between taking off his pants, and he ended up running out in his boxers.”
A shell casing was recovered at the scene, though no weapon was left behind. The mall was cleared after being placed on locked down, reopening for business around 1 p.m.
Police were searching for the pantsless pilferer. No arrests have yet been made.