People were running for cover.
It seemed like an average day at the mall on Friday afternoon for Chicago residents in the suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois. People were doing their shopping without a care when suddenly a black SUV plowed into the shopping center. It looked to be an accidental occurrence as there have been stories of drivers who step on the gas instead of the brake and crash into buildings. However, when the driver began maneuvering around the main hallway and crashing into both stores and kiosks, people believed this was a purposeful attack.
According to Chicago's CBS 2 News, police shared that they've taken the driver into custody but have withheld the person's identity until charges have been filed. They're investigating if this is "some type of medical issue" and may not file charges at all. A witness only identified as Jason said the SUV came within feet of him while he was ordering ice cream. He directed his wife to hide inside of the mall's Starbucks before he said he ran over to the vehicle, which at that time had collided with a pole. Jason claims he opened the door, reached inside the car, and grabbed the keys.
Police refuted reports that there was an active shooter at the mall. No shots were ever fired and the driver was detained without further incident. In a press conference, Schaumburg police said that this wasn't a terrorist attack, the 22-year-old suspect acted alone, and he didn't pre-plan the incident.
Witnesses shared that the driver seemed to be "dazed and confused." Jason added, "He seemed to be trying to get as far as he could." Another witness, Abram Taylor, told reporters, "I heard a loud bang. It sounded like a gunshot. The SUV was coming right for me. There were parents, kids families were screaming and crying." Thankfully, no one suffered major physical injuries. Check out a few photos and videos of the event shared on social media below.