A man rammed his SUV Friday into Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and was recorded on video driving inside the mall as terrified shoppers ran for cover.
The black SUV drove into a mall entrance near Sears, according to a statement from the village of Schaumburg.
A video posted to Twitter at 2:41 p.m. Friday shows the SUV driving around the mall and squealing its tires while people run away.
People can be heard screaming as the car maneuvers between kiosks, crashes into one display of cellphone cases and makes its way through the first level of the mall.
“Yo, this is not happening right now,” a man can be heard yelling as the car drives past stores, including a Forever 21 and an H&M. “What the f—.”
Nathaniel Findlay, 21, was walking inside for the start of his work shift when he saw the driver ram into the Sears.
”He was approaching the door, and he came to a complete stop,” Findlay said. “I got a quick glance at him and you could tell real quick the gears were turning, he was thinking about it.
”And then he just accelerated right through the doors,” Findlay said. “He was not going to stop until he got inside that mall.”
Findlay went right back to his car and called his cousin who was inside the mall.
”Dude wherever you are, get down, get out,” he told his cousin. “There’s a car inside.”
A black SUV smashed the front of Sears Friday at Woodfield Mall and proceeded to drive around inside. A person was taken into custody. Nader Issa/Sun-Times
Lateef Farooqui had just finished lunch in the food court when he heard the commotion. Many in the mall initially thought there was a person with a weapon.
“I hear people yelling and screaming, ‘Gun, gun, gun,’” he said.
Farooqui — who’s originally from the Chicago area but now lives in Guadalajara, Mexico — said panic soon set in in the food court.
“It clears out very heavily, people are leaving their phones and computers,” he said, describing the driver’s route as a “pinball machine of hitting things.”
Abram Taylor, a district manager with Sprint, was visiting the phone company’s kiosk at the mall for the launch of a new iPhone when he heard a “boom” and looked up to see the SUV coming straight toward him.
“I heard a big loud boom, and I looked up and an SUV was coming straight toward the kiosk,” the 39-year-old said. “Missed me by maybe 10, 15 seconds.
“There was a lot of chaos, screaming, crying” Taylor said. “It was dramatic. You didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Lauren Carney said she had just parked in the mall’s lot and was happy she was able to snag a parking spot closest to the door.
“Next thing I know, I heard kind of like a bang” as the car crashed through, she said.
Carney doubted the driver was going very fast when he entered the mall.
“He could not have been flying because I didn’t see him go by, I just heard it,” she said.
A police SUV sits outside Sears Friday at Woodfield Mall. Nader Issa/Sun-Times
Moments later, a deluge of people came running out the entrance the driver had just passed through, and she was unable to move her car.
Farooqui said upon being taken into custody, the driver’s demeanor was “pretty cool and collected.
Carney said as the suspect was being led out by police, “He was very stoic. He just walked out. He was not wobbling and he didn’t appear to be under the influence.”
Officials confirmed the driver was taken into custody and “there is no evidence of an active shooter situation,” officials said.
No injuries were reported.
Carney said it was “unbelievable” that no one was hurt.
“Knowing that he made it that far into the mall, there’s no way in your head you’d think that everybody was OK,” she said.
#BREAKING: A man behind the wheel of a black SUV drove through Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg Friday afternoon.
He drove through Sears & damaged several other stores including Forever 21 & Hollister.
Driver in police custody.@cbschicago
Photo Courtesy: Nik Farooqui pic.twitter.com/L5GoDk7WHH
— Eric Cox (@EricCoxTV) September 20, 2019