SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — By 7 p.m. on Black Friday, the owner of the University Sports Shop had already left Destiny USA, leaving the store to his staff.
That was around the same time that, as a tenant, he was one of the earliest to know about one man shooting another near the mall’s food court.
Theiss tells NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan, “It was a recorded message telling us that what was going on, that police were on the scene.”
Mike Theiss says the mall management drills with its tenants shutting store gates or locking doors in the event of an emergency, so he was happy with the communication from the mall and the response of his staff.
The staff in the store at the time kept customers inside and welcomed in workers from the Go Calendar stand just outside the doors, which doesn’t have any protection.
Business is all about location, location, location, but for two years now, the University Sports Shop’s location has been too close for comfort.
The store used to be right next to Macy’s, where two men were stabbed on Black Friday in 2018.
Since, mall management moved the store to near the Carousel entrance, just one floor under where this year’s shooting happened, involved two suspected gang members.
Theiss worries about what will happen to his business if the mall gets a worse reputation.
He says, “I hope people realize it’s an isolated incident. It’s not random. It’s people who know each other, targeting each other. I feel safe when I come to work here.”
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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan