A 7-year-old girl was shot twice Saturday while shopping with her mother at one of Baltimore’s best-known malls when a gunman fired multiple times, apparently indiscriminately, as he ran from a group of people.

Police Commissioner Richard Worley, speaking with Mayor Brandon Scott outside Mondawmin Mall, said two groups of people were walking toward each other on the first floor of the mall when a male began running away from a group and shooting.

The girl and her mother were walking through the mall at the time. The girl is in critical but stable condition at an area hospital, Worley said. Multiple bullets were fired but the girl was the only one hit, he said.

The person who shot the girl fled the scene, but Worley and Scott pledged to find him. Scott said the public should be able to walk through a mall without fear.

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The mall was closed after the shooting, and Worley and Scott spent an hour inside being briefed before speaking to the press.

“There was one coward,” Worley said, referring to the man who shot the girl. “He’s the one we want, but we want everybody that was there with him when he pulled the gun. They know who he is. He knows who he is.”

Police said they expect to have a description, photos and perhaps video of the gunman to release to the public soon.

“So he might as well just come and give up,” Worley said.

The shooting abruptly pulled Scott away from a housing forum for mayoral candidates at Baltimore Unity Hall, a community center near Bolton Hill. Mayoral candidate Thiru Vignarajah told the crowd the young girl had been shot in the abdomen. He asked for a moment of silence in her honor.

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Former Mayor Sheila Dixon used part of her time at the forum to condemn violence in the city, saying more is needed to improve public safety in the city.

“We have to get these guns off the street. We have to deal with the senseless shootings in our communities. I pray that she’s OK,” Dixon said.

Baltimore Banner staff writer Hallie Miller contributed to this report.

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