ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A calm and quiet day at Crossgates Mall on Monday, but just 48 hours ago at this time, it was a whole different story.
With reports of an active shooter spreading across the mall, there was certainly some panic. Thanks to a recent training, many workers will able to stay calm and help shoppers to safety.
“All of a sudden I heard what sounded like a small bomb or a shotgun,” Mall worker Lynn Doughtery said.
Dougherty is an assistant manager at Yankee Candle when she heard the shot, and saw the panic.
“People were running. I pulled all of my associates into the back. I pulled all of my people into the back.”
She stayed calm and did what she has been trained to do.
“I grabbed my key and locked the gate over here so no one could get in.”
Crossgates Mall, in conjunction with the Guilderland Police Department, holds active shooter training classes with workers every few months.
The classes teach them what to do if the unthinkable happens and on Saturday, it did.
“We receive a phone call or be prompted that something is going on in the mall, we’d go up to the gate, close the gate and leave the sign if there isn’t enough time to get it. Then escort all the associates and guests to the backroom and close the door.”
“So I knew exactly what to do, how to react, and what to say to people to make sure that everything was going to be okay.”
Shana DiLaura is the manager at Bath and Body Works and says the situation did get chaotic.
“I heard a shot ring out and I was all the way back in the cash wrap,” DiLaura said. “I just noticed everybody coming into the store.”
Quick thinking helped lead shoppers to safety.
“I basically just jumped out from behind the cash wrap and said everybody this way.”
Workers are crediting that active shooter training for making a big difference on an afternoon that could have been much worse.
“I wouldn’t say I’m necessary a hero, but I would say I was really able to perform my job well because of all the support and training from the mall and the police department,” Dougherty said.