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Houston police investigating viral video of Galleria diners scrambling after man shot in leg

Houston police respond to a scene.

A six-second video of a man firing a handgun — equipped with what appears to be an extended magazine — outside two Galleria restaurants is the latest burst of gun violence to unfold at the high-end Houston mall.

The gunman fires at least two rounds outside the mall’s Shake Shack — with the nearby Joey Uptown visible across the way — and spins around to flee, according to footage shared widely on social media. The short, blurry clip shows people running, yelling and scrambling to get away from the gunfire.

Police are investigating whether the video is connected to a shooting around 7 p.m. Saturday in which a man was shot in the leg and critically wounded, officials said.

The video, which was shared across multiple social media platforms by different users, gained more than 3.1 million views from one Twitter post alone.

The shooting happened in the 5000 block of Westheimer Road. Police found a man with a gunshot wound to the leg and he was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

What prompted the shooting was not known, police said. No arrests have been made.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said he discussed the shooting and mall security Monday with Chief Troy Finner.

“The Galleria is probably the last place anyone would want to do anything illegal,” Turner said, adding that the venue is packed with security cameras, inside the mall and out in the parking lots and garages.

He expects private security and HPD patrols to increase at the mall.

Spokespeople for the Galleria did not immediately return a request for comment.

In the afternoon, a security guard driving a cart cruised through a parking lot on Westheimer Road and three mounted patrol officers trotted past storefronts on horseback.

While the video caused a stir on social media, people at the Galleria on Monday seemed unfazed by the weekend shooting.

Shoppers streamed in and out of an entrance near the crime scene carrying bags and pushing strollers while cars packed garages and lots.

Christian Santamaria, 21, strolled into the mall with his girlfriend to visit the Samsung store for a new phone. He said he had not heard about the shooting before a reporter informed him.

“It doesn’t really bother me,” he said with a shrug. “Most of the time (shootings are) targeted.”

Sia Ngevao walked into the same entrance to exchange a blazer at H&M. She said she had heard about the shooting and was trying to get “in and out” of the mall.

“I mean, honestly, with anywhere that you go, there’s always going to be that risk of something like that going on or happening,” she said. “You just have to be careful and vigilant. It doesn’t matter where you are.”

Several other patrons said they were visiting from out-of-town and had not heard about the shooting.

One valet driver said he was working on Saturday when he heard gunshots from across the parking lot. It was a busy moment, though, so he quickly returned to work and was “not worried,” he said.

Violence at the highly-trafficked mall — which Simon Group says has more than 30 million visitors annually and which accrued about $1.03 billion in sales before the pandemic — has happened in the past.

The shooting comes within a month of another Galleria shooting in which a man was killed. Police responded on March 19 to a parking garage at 5150 Hidalgo Street and found the man, Joseph Lockhart, under a vehicle, believing that he was shot during a robbery and then run over by a driver also fleeing the gunfire.

Court records reveal that Lockhart may have stolen several boxes of Apple Air Pods, which police found scattered and covered in blood in the parking spot where he was shot.

Police arrested Roderick Moore, of Elkhart, on a capital murder charge in Lockhart’s death.

Moore told a roommate that he made a deal to buy the Air Pods at a discount from Lockhart but that he planned to rob him instead, according to court records. He thought Lockhart was reaching for a gun during the robbery and shot him, the records continued. A third roommate was with Moore at the time of the shooting but he has not been charged with a crime.

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