Jersey City mayor blames Newport mall shooting on federal laws
JERSEY CITY — Officials announced a delayed opening for the Newport Centre mall a day after a shooting at the food court that wounded two people and prompted the mayor to call for changes in federal gun laws.
The Newport Centre mall said it would reopen at 1 p.m. Saturday after authorities said a fistfight at about 6 p.m. Friday on the mall's third floor ended in gunfire, wounding one person in the stomach and another in his arm.
Mayor Steve Fulop said one was wanted in a shooting two days earlier that prompted school lockdowns.
He said Saturday that "Years ago, a fistfight at the mall was a fistfight at the mall" without fear of someone carrying an illegal gun. Fulop said changes in the law at the federal level were needed.
Police had two people in custody, but they were not certain that either was the shooter who began the incident at the Newport Centre mall. Authorities are reviewing surveillance footage to determine that.
No one was injured during the evacuation, which Fulop called orderly. Police Chief Michael Kelly said "no friendly person" was shot.
One of those shot was hit in the abdomen, and the second was hit in the arm. They brought themselves to Jersey City Medical Center and are in critical but stable condition, authorities said.
There is an arrest warrant out for one of the injured men in connection with another recent shooting. Kelly said he was wanted for attempted murder.
"We know some of the players here, we know some of the victims, and we certainly think that they weren't up to anything very good in the mall," he said.
He said the shooting could be gang-related.
While Kelly and Fulop repeatedly referred to "the shooter" in the brief news conference, Kelly also declined to confirm whether there was, in fact, just one shooter. He also would not say how many shots were fired.
Police were first called about a fistfight in the food court of the mall about 6p.m. and later received reports of shots fired. Some bystanders told northjersey.com that people panicked when they heard the gunshots, and security guards initially told them to stay inside stores. They were later told to leave the mall.