Deputies seek 2 vehicles involved in gunfire exchange at Florida outlet mall

ELLENTON, Fla. — An outlet mall in west-central Florida was temporarily locked down on Sunday after gunfire was exchanged in a parking lot, authorities said.

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The shooting occurred at about 4:40 p.m. EDT in the east parking lot of Ellenton Premium Outlets, located about 40 miles south of Tampa and seven miles north of Bradenton, the Bradenton Herald reported. Deputies with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reported there were no injuries, and the suspects fled the scene, according to the newspaper.

The incident comes a day after eight people were killed and seven others were injured when a gunman opened fire at an outlet mall in suburban Dallas. Both malls are owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group.

Mall security officials alerted customers and store personnel about the shooting and urged them to shelter in place, WTSP-TV reported.

There were no reports of any injuries, and the mall was reopened by 5:15 p.m. EDT, according to WFTS-TV.

“From what I’m hearing, it was all very quick,” sheriff’s office spokesperson Randy Warren told the Herald. “They shot at each other and then they both fled out of the area.”

No shots were fired in or near stores, Warren said.

Deputies believe the incident was a targeted event and the shooters knew one another, WWSB-TV reported.

Sunday’s incident comes 10 months after a shooting at the outlet mall left one man hospitalized after an argument broke out among a group of men, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.

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