Two uniformed Knoxville Police Department officers confronted the customer as he left Reno Menswear store and exchanged gunfire, hitting him once in the arm and once in the leg, DeBusk said. No one else was hurt, and police recovered the suspect's handgun.
The suspect was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center and was in stable condition. Police didn't release the names of the customer or the suspect.
Witness Daniel Wiles, 34, said he saw a man about a hundred feet away with a handgun, heard nine shots and saw people begin fleeing for cover.
"I heard a single shot. Then immediately after that I heard eight additional shots. People started stampeding," said Wiles, who was at the mall to pay a cell phone bill.
Kay Jewelers assistant manager Cayla Corum said that before she heard gunshots a worker warned her to shut the gates to the store because of reports of someone carrying a gun in the mall.
"At first, it sounded like firecrackers going off," said Corum, 21. "Then everyone started running. ... I've never experienced anything like it in my life."
Corum said she heard two shots, a pause, and then "at least 15" shots.
The mall, owned by Simon Property Group of Indianapolis, closed early because of the shooting.
Mall manager Tim Hill said in a release that the company was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy, offered sympathy to the victim and his family and pledged full cooperation with authorities.
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