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Area shoppers worried after mall violence: ‘It’s terrifying’

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Posted at 12:35 AM, Sep 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-25 00:47:52-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Shoppers in Central Virginia are reacting to two recent attacks at malls across the county.

Last weekend a man referred to Allah as he stabbed ten people inside a Minnesota mall before he was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer. Then Friday night five people were shot to death inside the Macy's at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington. That shooting suspect was captured by police late Saturday.

Chesterfield Towne Center

Chesterfield Towne Center

The two attacks at heavily populated malls is on the minds of shoppers visiting malls in Central Virginia like Chesterfield Towne Center.

"Absolutely, I mean you feel safe, but you just trust and hope that everything is OK,” said shopper Tereasa Hobbs.

Other shoppers said they were worried.

Cameron Robinson, who was also shopping in Chesterfield, admitted she feels more vulnerable in public places after the attacks. She believes additional police and security officers may be needed at malls.

"It's terrifying, especially for a community like ours," Courtney Henning said. "I mean we've got many different locations for malls.”

Henning also worries about her two young daughters: "You've got your family and people of all ages. You never know."

Major Security Consulting and Design President Michael Jones

Major Security Consulting and Design President Michael Jones

Former State Capitol Police Chief Michael Jones, who is now a public safety consultant who trains security workers, said some malls now have security workers wearing cameras in addition to the use of traditional surveillance cameras to help catch criminals.

"Anybody who has to deal with people when there's ever a challenge the body cams does not lie,” said Jones, the president of Major Security Consulting and Design.

However, Jones points out the challenges of not using body cameras properly.

"Not taking the time to practice with them, like they do every other piece of equipment, make sure it is properly secured to your uniform, make sure you have the battery,” Jones said.