ATLANTA - Some holiday shoppers say they have marked Atlanta’s most well-known mall off their list this year. They cite gunplay that has occurred inside the mall.
"My mom doesn't want me to go there by myself," said Maddie VanSlyke.
VanSklyke is a young adult who can recall when she as a middle school youngster frequented the mall with other young people.
The latest incident that put the mall in a bad light took place last Saturday around 6 p.m. Atlanta police said a man was walking through the Neiman Marcus store and adjusting his pants when the gun inside of his waistband discharged.
Although it was an accident, the fleeing customers did not know that.
"We have stepped up our patrols," said Sgt. John Chafee of APD.
Atlanta Police Department Zone 2 officers are augmented by off-duty officers paid for by the mall management.
"They have full arrest powers and will be right there should something happen," Chafee said. "We want everyone to enjoy the holiday."
Incidents involving guns have been an ongoing issue at the mall recently.
City of Atlanta officials and business leaders announced plans to roll out enhanced security after the mall recently experienced its fourth shooting this year.
A man was sent to the hospital after being shot in the rear during a shooting inside of Lenox's Apple store.
Earlier in October, three people were arrested after shots were fired inside Neiman Marcus.
In March, a person was killed during a shooting over a parking place. The previous month, a man was shot during what police called a botched drug deal in the parking lot outside Bloomingdales.
In January, a police officer was involved in a shooting during a robbery in progress in the parking lot. And in December of 2019, police said a Macy’s employee was robbed and shot in the Lenox Square parking garage.
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