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Workers inside Aventura Mall talk about tense moments after Nordstrom shooting

AVENTURA, Fla. – Employees working inside the Aventura Mall when shots were fired at a Nordstrom store said frightening and tense moments gave way to them being instructed by swift acting managers who worked to keep everyone safe.

“ 'What’s going on?’ rushed to my head and we had customers in the store at the time,” Afrelcia Whyte, who works at the Forever 21 said. She recounts an experience tinged with confusion and fear.

"We had to evacuate everybody out of the store," Whyte said. "I didn't expect it to happen so close to the store. It was quite scary."

Jamia Wimbush, who works at The Gap Store inside the mall said his manager told him there was a shooting going on.

"So she rushed everybody to the back,” Wimbush said.

Wimbush said he couldn’t believe a shooting would happen amid a pandemic, which is an already stressful time.

"With everything happening in the world you want to create more chaos?" Wimbush said.

Norma Sanchez said she was in Nordstrom lunchroom when she heard what she thought was an explosion.

"I thought it was a bomb and started running," said Sanchez, speaking in Spanish.

Aventura Police said via Twitter that due to the quick response by all those involved, no employees or bystanders were hurt.

Only the Nordstrom store was closed; the rest of Aventura Mall remained opened.

A Nordstrom representative said in their statement that the store was evacuated after the shooting and will remain closed for at least the rest of the day “as we continue to partner with the Aventura Police Department as they investigate this situation. The wellbeing of our employees is our top priority, and we’re doing everything we can to support them through this situation.”

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.