NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – A shooting Saturday night at the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh definitely caught the eye of mall operators across the country.
“It always piques our attention when that happens because it is certainly a rare thing and an unfortunate thing,” Cafaro Co. spokesman Joe Bell said.
The Cafaro Co. owns and operates the Eastwood Mall in Niles.
Bell said the nature of that shooting is not typically what they would expect to happen.
“That was a beef between a teenager and another teenager that could have happened at a grocery store on the corner, you name it. He just happened to encounter him at the Macy’s in Monroeville,” Bell said.
Eastwood Mall officials said they are always prepared just in case an incident like the one in Pittsburgh happens here.
Niles police participate in active shooter training at the mall, just like one in April.
“And it is great training for our own security officers and I think we like to involve as many merchants as possible because it makes them more of what they have to do if an emergency arises,” Bell said.
Because of the shooting and other incidents involving teens, the Monroeville Mall will institute a Youth Escort Policy.
“That does make sense. Anymore, you never know what is going to go on. You want to feel safe when you are with the kids,” Kelly Ginter of Warren said.
She said a curfew may be extreme.
“It is a lot different these days, but I think that parents should be more aware when they are dropping their children off,” Ginter said.
Bell said they have considered putting in a similar policy at other malls they operate, but it is a last resort and there are no plans to do so at the Eastwood Mall. Instead, they tend to make their security more active to address concerns involving teenagers.
Officials at the Southern Park Mall did not return calls seeking comment for this story.