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(Reuters) – At least four people were stabbed at the Silver City Galleria mall and at a home in Taunton outside Boston on Tuesday evening, authorities said, in what police described as an “active scene.”
The Taunton Police Department said on Twitter it was investigating “multiple stabbings” at the mall and on a nearby street.
The suspect was shot at the mall by a police officer who was off-duty, Massachusetts State Police said in a statement. All victims are reportedly still alive and have been transported to hospitals in the area, but may be suffering from life-threatening injuries.
The incident at the mall began when the suspect crashed a car into the front of a store at the mall. The suspect then proceeded to stab two people.
— Perry Russom (@PerryNBCBoston) May 10, 2016
A mall security guard declined to disclose any information about the incident.
A dispatcher with the Taunton police said the situation was ongoing but contained. He declined to provide further information.
Taunton is about 40 miles (64 km) south of Boston.
Taunton Fire Department dispatcher Mike Marshall said reports started coming in around 6:37 p.m. and that the department sent out “a lot” of ambulances. He added that preliminary reports indicated the suspected assailant had been shot, but he could not confirm the information.
Witnesses told local television station WHDH-TV that they saw people running out of the mall and heard gunfire. The station reported that people in the area saw police officers with guns drawn and that the mall had been evacuated and put on lockdown.
The Massachusetts State Police said it was assisting local police with the incident.
Here’s the full statement from Massachusetts State Police:
Massachusetts State Police and Taunton Police are on scene at the Galleria Mall in Taunton and a related scene at a home on Myrick Street in Taunton where multiple people have been stabbed by an assailant. Two stabbings occurred at the mall after the assailant crashed a motor vehicle into the front of a store. The other two stabbings appear to have been committed in the Myrick Street home. It is possible that the assailant was involved in an earlier motor vehicle crash on Myrick Street prior to the stabbings there.
Preliminary investigation indicates the assailant was shot at the mall by an off-duty law enforcement officer.
At this point none of the victims are deceased although some injuries may be life-threatening. All were transported to area hospitals.
The incident occurred shortly after 7 pm. Numerous patrols and investigative and specialized units of state and local police are at the crime scenes. The flow of information is fluid at this time.
No further information is available at this time. Please do not call seeking further information; we will update when appropriate to do so.
Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco. Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney.