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Kenya and New York Mall Shootings: Killers Choose Two Malls This Week for Deadly Rampages

( [email protected] ) Sep 26, 2013 12:42 AM EDT
Authorities in Nassau County on Long Island said they’re looking for a suspect after two people were shot Wednesday morning near a mall in East Garden City, according to CBS New York. And questions linger after the recent attack on shoppers at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
Authorities in Nassau County on Long Island said they're looking for a suspect after two people were shot Wednesday morning near a mall in East Garden City

Authorities in Nassau County on Long Island said they're looking for a suspect after two people were shot Wednesday morning near a mall in East Garden City, according to CBS New York.

The shooting reportedly happened at around 10 a.m. in an industrial area near the Roosevelt Field Mall. Police said the suspect entered a building, pulled out a gun and shot two people.

The station reports the suspect is a former employee of the business, his identity has not been released. Police have swarmed the area and the mall was placed on lockdown. Exits at nearby highways were also closed. Area schools continued with classes but no one was allowed to enter or leave the buildings, according to the station.

One of the victims is reportedly in critical condition at Nassau University Medical Center. Police have described the suspect as an Asian male, 6-feet-2 inches tall, last seen wearing a grey or brown suit jacket and a red shirt. Authorities said he fled the scene in a white Honda with a New York license plate: FMA-3648, according to CBS.

And questions linger after the recent attack on shoppers at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

Many Kenyans -- and others around the world -- are still coming to grips with a vicious attack and armed standoff that only recently ended.

At least 61 civilians and six Kenyan security officers died in the four-day attack and rescue efforts, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday, but the death toll will rise as recovery workers retrieve bodies buried in the rubble of the partially collapsed mall, according to CNN.

Kenyan forces killed five terrorists, and 11 others are in custody over possible links to the attacks, Kenyatta said, declaring that his country had "ashamed and defeated" the attackers.

But even though Kenyatta declared the siege over, an immense amount of work remains to learn how Al-Shabaab, a terror group thought to be badly bruised by recent losses in its Somalian homeland, was able to pull off such a well-coordinated and brazen attack, reports CNN.

U.S. security and law enforcement personnel are pressing for access to the mall and the bodies of the terrorists so they can begin to determine if Americans were among the attackers, according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the situation.

"That is the million-dollar question," the official said. "We do not have much fidelity on this. We haven't had access to the scene."

But based on what the United States knows so far, "this was meticulously planned," the official said. "This is not something where the attackers walked into the mall all of the sudden," according to CNN.

The United States is looking at the possibility the attackers stored their weapons inside the mall ahead of time and may have even rented a store there as a base of operations. The Americans are also looking at reports the attackers may have had access to blueprints of the mall and knowledge of the location of employee and service personnel stairways as well as ventilation systems.