Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream went into lockdown Monday after a man was shot in the back in the leg inside a sneaker store, Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
Detectives responded to the mall at 4:47 p.m. for a report of an individual who had been shot in the leg inside Famous Footwear, police said.
Police said the victim took cover behind the counter after the shooting, Ryder said in a news briefing Monday night outside the mall.
In a release, police said the gunman and another man fled the scene.
Officials believe the victim and the gunman knew each other and that the two individuals had a brief verbal confrontation before the suspect opened fire.
The victim was taken to a hospital. There were no immediate details about his condition.
Police are interviewing several witnesses along with a person of interest in the shooting, Ryder said.
"At this time we believe the victim and subject know each other," he said. "But again it's early on in the investigation. Once we conduct more interviews we'll develop more. There are plenty of witnesses and plenty of cameras. So we'll be using all of that to build our case."
Felicia Commissiong of Elmont said she was on line in Old Navy with her two children returning some clothes when she heard a loud pop.
"The cashier told us to run and that's what we did," she said.
The mall went into immediate lockdown after the shooting, meaning that everyone inside Famous Footwear was kept in place while the rest of the mall was evacuated, Ryder said.
With Howard Simmons