Northlake Mall Shooting

March 2, 2016

On December 24, 2015 a shooting occurred at Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of the busiest shopping days of the year, the mall was packed with shoppers making last minute purchases for the holidays when two shoppers broke out into an argument that involved a gun. When the shooting happens, shoppers scatter diving under tables, hiding in restrooms and interior rooms of the mall. Shoppers frantically call 911 providing the little information they have about the emergency. Seeing the breaking news on television and on social media, loved ones call 911 to find out information about their friends and family at the mall. Dispatchers ask the location of the callers in the mall to better understand what is happening in the mall.

Quickly, police and paramedics arrive on scene. With little information about what is happening inside, confusion amongst those responding occurs. A report is made that an officer has been shot causing more police to rush to the mall to support their fallen officer. Another announcement is made that the suspect has been shot, not an officer. After notification that the suspect is shot, there is a notification that the shooting has ended.

Before moving from their safe location, users call 911 to confirm the shooting is actually over. Loved ones continue to call 911 to find out information about their friends and family at the mall trying to find out any information. As shoppers emerge from their hiding places, a flood of cars try to leave the mall causing massive traffic jams. Police try to direct traffic without a plan of how to effectively control the flow of cars. After the event, the information on the shooting is not released until 2 months later.
The shooting that occurred at Northlake Mall is not an atypical event. Confusion caused by the lack of information is a common theme in mass emergencies.

Had ArcAngel been used in the emergency the event would have moved a little differently. The shooting occurs at Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina on Christmas Eve. The ArcAngel Admin user at Northlake Mall automatically notifies first responders of an emergency event. Employees and visitors within the mall receive an alert via the ArcAngel App. Users respond to the ArcAngel alert if they are safe or not. Automatically loved ones are notified of the safety of their loved ones in the emergency causing fewer calls 911. It also gives loved ones peace of mind that their friends and family are safe.

Users can send video, picture, and text to Admin users to help first responders understand what is happening in the emergency. It also allows them to send help to the users that need it, rather than finding out who needs help once they are on the scene. Users also receive event updates as the event unfolds to let them know where safe zones are and when the event is over. Better technology empowers the user to make their own decisions in an emergency.