Local News


Improving mall security and what to do in shooting situations

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 08:15:21-05

Three people were injured during a shooting at Fashion Show Mall Tuesday night.

Las Vegas police have announced they have arrested 18-year-old Christoper Valenzuela-Olivas for the shooting.

This is not the first time that there has been a shooting at the mall.

The chaotic scene seems like deja vu from May 2019 after a fight and a shooting inside the mall.

Back in 2014, a man was shot near the Top Shop store.

The fashion show mall management says:

It is deeply disheartening that such a terrible, isolated incident occurred at Fashion Show. We recognize that last night was a frightful experience for our guests and tenants. However, we are grateful to our security team and our partners at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department who were quickly on site to prevent escalation. We want to assure our community that there is a robust security program in place that we constantly review and evaluate. We do not publicly discuss details of our security program.
Fashion Show Management

Former law enforcement officer and safety expert, Adam Coughran says securing malls are complicated. you want it to be inviting but not restrictive.

"There's layers of security involved. mall security first and foremost. mall security are involved. you have them looking and engaging at things. you have video camera systems. they are monitoring multiple levels and multiple entrances and exits on these types of place along with metro police."

He says most private security are trained on what to do in these types of situations.

"So mall security mainly trains more not necessarily to stop these types of events because often times they're not armed or trained to do that but they are trained to help those at the mall to get the out quickly and safely."

Having an alert and well-trained staff can be key to safety.

"If something happens, what can i do for my customers on top of myself? What's the plan to get out?"

Last night some employees herded frantic shoppers as far away from the incident as possible.

But it also helps to not leave everything up to security and law enforcement.

"Know how you can get yourself of the area quickly. When you see people scrambling, maybe you don't want to see what's going on. Trust the people who are fleeing and begin to get out of that area."

If you're too far from an exit try to get into a store and see if there is a door leading to a way out.

Coughran says, when you feel something isn't right, trust your gut.

"If it's saying to run away to have some sort of physical reaction. Your body is telling you something and to act upon them. So whether it's telling security or doing what your body feels most correctly will often keep you the most safe."

As always, if you see something, say something.