Mall customers call for more employee care at University Park Mall after deadly shooting

NOW: Mall customers call for more employee care at University Park Mall after deadly shooting


MISHAWAKA, Ind. - University Park mall opened for business less than 24 hours after a deadly shooting closed and locked down the facility. Many stores did not re-open when the mall did on Sunday. Some customers said they would rather shop online at home until the mall can guarantee employee and customer safety. Others had some ideas on how the mall can accomplish that.

"They really do not have much in the way of security," said Cathi Green whose son works at University Park Mall. "They really need to spend time and money on security, and that may require them to have some police officers available."

Green did not think it was a good idea for the mall to open less than a day after the shooting. She felt it did not give employees enough time to "decompress and process what happened yesterday." She said she hopes everyone who saw the deadly shooting gets some form of counseling to talk about what happened. She also said customers owe a great deal of gratitude to the employees.

"The employees who were there obviously did a wonderful job in not only protecting themselves, but also protecting the customers," Green said. "I think the customers owe a debt of gratitude to all of the employees who worked so quickly and did such a good job in getting them out and getting them to areas of safety."

One customer, weekly shopper Renie Campoli, agreed with that idea and went to the mall Sunday with flowers for those employees.

"I wanted to brighten their day since yesterday was such a horrific and tragic day," Campoli said. "They appreciated it. I got some smiles and stuff. So, that was nice. That's what I did it for. I just wanted to make people happy."

Campoli said she does not feel any less safe going to the mall than she did before but did say she felt opening for business on Sunday was "premature."

Cathi Green said her son was at the mall Saturday when the shooting happened. She said he went back to work on Sunday, but one of his colleagues left early and said "she would not be coming back" because of the deadly shooting.

Police are still investigating this shooting and do not have a suspect in custody. If you have any information about what happened Saturday at University Park Mall, you are encouraged to contact the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit or Michiana Crime stoppers.

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