SUV barrels through shopping mall in Chicago suburb, driver arrested

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(FOX) — An SUV barreled through a suburban Chicago mall Friday afternoon, sending frightened shoppers scurrying and running over a kiosk before crashing into a clothing store.

Despite the chaos and danger, the village of Schaumburg said in a statement on its Facebook page that there were no reported injuries.

The black Chevrolet Trailblazer drove through the ground level of the Woodfield Mall shortly after 2:30 p.m. after entering near Sears and Rainforest Cafe. Witness Lateef Farooqui told CBS Chicago that he was on the second floor of the mall when he saw the vehicle driving through the mall “like you would a shopping cart.”

Witnesses posted videos of the SUV’s bizarre trip on social media. Rumors of an active shooter quickly circulated, but Schaumberg police said they’d found no gunman or shots fired. The 22-year-old suspect is currently in custody. He was originally detained by mall patrons before officers could arrive at the scene, according to ABC 7.

“Yo, this is not happening right now,” a man can be heard yelling in one video as the car drives past stores, including an H&M. “What the f—.”

Farooqui said the SUV drove over a kiosk and then struck a Forever 21 before the driver jumped out and was captured by police. Authorities haven’t released the name of the driver or any potential motive.

Rob Thomas, an executive at the Chicago Tribune, told the paper that he was headed to the Apple store when he heard the fire alarm go off and an announcement on the mall’s loudspeakers that people should leave because there had been an incident.

“I got to the center of the mall, I saw this car. It’s a black SUV crashed against a pillar in front of the Clark’s shoe store,” Thomas said, adding that one of the front tires was flat.

He said that as he took a picture, “All of a sudden the tact team came in with assault rifles and yelling, `Get out, get out, get out of the mall.”

The FBI issued a statement saying it was assisting local law enforcement and that there wasn’t any further threat to public safety.

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