Police respond to report of gunman near Trolley Square; some workers evacuated, others shelter in place

A large police presence responded to an area near Trolley Square after a report of a possible active shooting incident on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 11, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Police responded en force Thursday morning to reports of an active shooter who stood on the corner of 500 South and 600 East, firing a gun, then fled onto the property of the Trolley Square mall.

The scene has since been cleared, and the suspect remains at large.

Detective Greg Wilking, Salt Lake City Police, said his department was first alerted to the incident at 7:35 a.m..

No one was injured by the multiple shots fired, but police did find evidence at the scene to confirm witnesses story of an active shooter, Wilking said.

A large police presence responded to an area near Trolley Square after a report of a possible active shooting incident on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

As of 8:35 a.m., mall store employees who were on scene, preparing for the work day, were all evacuated or sheltering in place as police cleared the mall grounds and interior.

Colton Pearson was one of those on scene when the police arrived, he told Gephardt Daily.

A large police presence responded to an area near Trolley Square after a report of a possible active shooting incident on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

“I heard a knocking on the door and saw a police officer, and I started walking up and I saw he had a shotgun in his hand,” Pearson said. “So I opened the door, and he let me know there had been a shooting. They believed the shooter was downstairs in the parking garage, they just asked me to come across the street.”

Pearson was startled, he said.

“I definitely just thought this is something serious,” he said. “I was a little nervous.”

The suspect was described as a Caucasian male, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, and bald. By about 9 a.m., police called an “all clear” after determining the suspect had fled the vicinity.

A large police presence responded to an area near Trolley Square after a report of a possible active shooting incident on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

Two nearby schools were put on lockdown as a  precaution, Wilking said. The search was extensive, Wilking said.

“Any time that we’re responding to a place of business like this, a large area, and doing a search, it takes a lot of manpower, a lot of resources. Then, of course, with some of the history ….”

A large police presence responded to an area near Trolley Square after a report of a possible active shooting incident on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

Trolley Square was the site of a mass shooting on Feb. 12, 2007. Eighteen-year-old gunman Sulejman Talović killed five bystanders and wounded four others before he was shot dead by officers of the Salt Lake City Police Department. His motive was never determined.

Wilking said the motive of Thursday’s shooter, who fired while on the street, not on mall property, is also unknown.

“Obviously we would like to catch up with this individual and determine what took place,” Wilking said.

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