Sacramento Police Officer Karl Chan said officers received reports of the shooting around 6:10 p.m. local time.
When officers arrived, they located two victims. A 17-year-old male was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died. A 19-year-old male was pronounced deceased on scene by fire personnel.
By the time officers arrived at the mall, police say the shooter was already gone. Investigators believe the suspect is a male in his 20’s.
Detectives believe the shooting was an isolated incident, but the motive remains unclear.
“Our detectives are very good at their job, and we know that they will be doing a very thorough investigation on this,” Chan said. “We will be doing everything that we can to identify the suspect or suspects who were involved in this incident and make an arrest in this.”
The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office will release the identity of the 19-year-old victim after family members have been notified.
“We were probably 25 to 30 feet from the shooting,” witness Collin Dean told NewsNation affiliate KTXL.
At first, Dean said he didn’t know what was happening.
“We heard the first loud bang and everyone got really quiet. It was offsetting and we were trying to figure out what it was,” Dean recalled. “Split second later, we heard another shot. That’s when everyone realized it and started running towards the back.”
Witnesses said more shots were fired as people tried to run and hide, but some people were still not sure what was happening.
“We thought it was thunder and it started raining because it was one or two at first,” Dean explained.
The mall was evacuated and witnesses said law enforcement arrived quickly.
“It was just a very traumatic moment,” said witness Ester Diaz.
Diaz told KLXL that it was her first time Black Friday shopping. She thought there would be fewer people due to the pandemic, but that was not the case.
“There was tons of people in there,” she said. “There were a lot of people having trouble trying to run where they were at. There were people with strollers.”
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg responded to news of the shooting on Twitter.
“We are deeply concerned by the increase in gun violence in Sacramento and other cities during the pandemic, and have supported increasing our efforts to reach young people at risk. A gun is never the answer.”Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
As police begin their investigation and review mall surveillance footage, those who walked away from the shooting were thankful.
“It’s a lot of take in to talk to your parents and think that this might be my last I love you. For them to know that too, it’s pretty scary,” Diaz said.
NewsNation affiliate KTXL contributed to this report.