Howard County police said via Twitter that a shooting took place at the Mall in Columbia, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington.
Authorities received a call to 911 at around 11:15 a.m. from someone reporting that shots had been fired. Police responded to the scene and found three people dead, including one person who was found near a gun and ammunition.
Police said they believed that one of people found dead was the shooter. There was no other information available about the two other people. Later, police said that two people with minor injuries were transported to a hospital for treatment.
The scene was "believed to be secure" police said in a tweet released at about 12:36 p.m.
The mall is at the center of the town and typically opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.
Joan Harding of Elkridge, Md., was shopping with her husband, David, for a tiara for their granddaughter's 18th birthday. She said she heard something heavy falling, followed by gunshots and people running.
"My husband said, 'Get down!' and the girl that worked in the store said, 'Get in the back,' " Harding said. That is where they hid until police gave the all-clear.
Witnesses said they heard a succession of gunshots fired near the food court on the first floor of the mall.
People were directed out of the mall and into a parking lot, where some boarded a bus and others walked toward their cars. Some people were seen crying.
Laura McKinzles of Columbia works at a kiosk in the mall. She said she heard between eight and 10 gunshots, followed by people running and screaming. She ran into the backroom of a perfume store and locked the door.
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