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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — A man was taken into custody Friday afternoon after a car drove through Woodfield Mall causing chaos throughout the shopping center. Police were on the scene at the Schaumburg mall around 2:30 p.m. after witnesses said a black SUV drove through Sears. The Schaumburg Police Department in a statement said the car drove through the mall entrance near the Sears and Rainforest Cafe. The car drove through the mall common area before finally stopping in the mall’s center court. The driver of the car, and the only person who was inside the vehicle, was identified as a 22-year-old man. His name has not been released pending charges. The man was detained by mall patrons, including two off-duty police officers. Police then arrived on the scene and he was taken into custody. In a news conference late Friday, Schaumburg police said the incident was not an act of terrorism and was not preplanned. “There is no indication that this incident is related to any type of terrorist act,” Schaumburg police chief Bill Wolf said. “There is no indication that the subject involved was working with anybody else. He was by himself.” Police confirmed the driver was walking inside the mall earlier in the afternoon before the incident. Police said there was a possibility the man was experiencing a medical issue. They are investigating that aspect further.
A witness shared a photo of the man suspected of driving a black SUV through Woodfield Mall.
Police said three people were taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening medical issues. The injuries were not a result of the car hitting anyone, police said. The fire department treated an additional four people on the scene, all of whom refused transport to the hospital. Police said all injuries were “very minor.” Some initial reports on social media and calls to police suggested an active shooter situation, but police said this was unfounded. “I can confirm there was absolutely no shots fired,” Wolf said. “There was no active shooter. It appeared that what people heard as “shots fired” was broken glass in the mall.” Police said the mall will reopen Saturday morning. Building inspectors were on the scene and found no major structural damage. Lateef Farooqui was at the mall when the car drove through, and described the chaos. He said he was on the floor above where it happened. He said he heard people saying there were guns, but said it was probably just people panicking. He said people were running in every direction, and that security was telling people to run away. Farooqui said he was walking nearby when the suspect was taken into custody. “He was just quiet, head down, walking straight,” he said. “Not somebody wild, screaming. No chanting. Not any of those things you’d expect of somebody crazy.” WATCH: Witness describes chaotic scene at Woodfield Mall
Schaumburg High School was placed on a soft lockdown after administrators received report of the mall incident. “Upon resolution of the community incident, the police confirmed that no threat to students existed and the soft lockdown was ended,” Principal Tim Little said in a statement. Students were released from school at the end of the day. The mall issued a statement saying they were grateful no one was injured. “The authorities believe this to be an isolated incident involving one person who has been arrested,” the statement said. “We are grateful no one was injured, and thank our security team and the police for their quick response.” The incident remains under investigation. Anyone who is unable to reach a Woodfield Mall employee or family member is asked to call the Village of Schaumburg Customer Service Center by dialing 311 if they are within the village. Those outside Schaumburg can call 847-895-4500.
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