Southwest Michigan residents recount UP Mall shooting experience

Published 5:46 pm Saturday, September 12, 2020

MISHAWAKA — A fatal shooting at University Park Mall in Mishawaka has rattled the greater Michiana community, including many southwest Michigan residents who were shopping at the mall at the time of the incident.

Mishawaka police continue to search for one suspect accused of shooting an unidentified subject near an entrance of the mall. Police were dispatched to the mall around 3 p.m. Saturday. While the investigation is ongoing, many shoppers and employees have spoken out to share their experience.

Chelsea Huffman and her husband, Andrew, of Edwardsburg, were passing by Build a Bear Workshop when they heard shots fired.

At first it didn’t register and then people were pushing and running screaming, ‘shooter!'” Chelsea Huffman said Saturday afternoon.

Niles native Coreana Frampton-Dunnem was working at Box Lunch, next door to Build a Bear, when the shots were fired.

I only heard the shots and then people started screaming and running,” Frampton-Dunnem said. “We had to barricade our doors and get our customers in the back. We were locked down and then told to leave by the police.”

Frampton-Dunnem said once she and her manager realized what was happening, they sprung to action, ensuring the 10 or so customers in the store were safe.

Huffman and Frampton-Dunnem both said the mall was “packed” — the busiest they had seen it since the pandemic started.

“Kids were there — parents trying to grab them and run,” Huffman said. “We saw an employee entrance and exit and took that and kept running ’til we were to Grape Road.”

Dozens of people could be seen exiting the mall, as witnesses reported a “stampede” through the food court and other mall exits.

As of 3:45 p.m., police reported there was no longer an active shooter situation, but that a suspect was still being sought. A description of the suspect was unavailable.

This is a developing story.