ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Over the weekend, CherryVale Mall was once again sent into lockdown following a shooting. Nobody was hurt, but the worries over safety remain for some residents.
One shopper shared his concerns as to why he is keeping is family away from the mall.
Hans Jansen was across the street from the mall when the shooting happened.
“There’s a lot of stuff happening out in the parking lot,” said Jansen.
Han Jansen lives in Davis, but on Sunday he made the trip to Petland Rockford across the street from CherryVale Mall.
“Something told me, ‘maybe today will be different.’ So, we went to Petland and on our way home we passed 3 sheriffs as I had just left the area and I had seen there was a shooting that happened outside the mall,” he said.
Jansen says situations like the weekend shooting raise big safety concerns. Police say it is important for shoppers to always be aware of their surroundings in case they are faced with an emergency.
“If you are in the main hallway of the mall and the mall is beginning to lock down, it’s important that they got to the nearest store [and] to be inside the store for the lockdown and not in the main hallway,” said Cherry Valley Police Sergeant Jesse Pearse.
“If they see a mall security officer, it would be best to go to them because they do have direct contact with us with radios. If there’s not a mall security officer available, they need to call if it’s an emergency situation,” Sgt. Pearse added.
Cherry Valley Police Department released three images from mall security cameras.
Eyewitness News reached out to CherryVale Mall for comment. They released a statement stating:
“We take the incidents that have occurred on property very seriously. We certainly understand the public’s concerns and do not take them lightly.
With the use of Closed Circuit TV Cameras, we have nearly hundreds of views of the interior and exterior of the property. When an incident occurs, we are able to provide police with images of those involved. The police department use those images to identify people that cause disruptions at the mall. We want people to know that if you come to CherryVale with the intent to commit a crime, you will be caught on camera.
Our security program is managed by a professional, third-party security provider and we have officers patrolling 24 hours a day.
In addition to regular patrols from on-duty Cherry Valley police, CherryVale employs off-duty Cherry Valley and Winnebago County police officers as part of our security program.
Cherry Valley PD has had a substation on mall property for over 20 years. This regular presence ensures that police officers are familiar with the property, including the corridors and camera monitoring system.”
But for Jansen, he’s still uneasy about bringing his family anywhere near the mall.
“I definitely don’t want to take my son around somewhere where stuff like this happens or where I would have to protect our lives,” he added.
Cherry Valley police tell us the investigation is still ongoing.