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Oak Park Mall terror: Father, son witness shooting

Posted at 11:01 PM, Oct 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-28 20:27:40-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Jude Tygart didn't mince words about the frightening turn a Halloween-costume shopping trip took Friday at Oak Park Mall.

"It was the worst night of my life," said Tygart, 9, who was at the mall with his dad, Daniel, when gun shots rang out.

After the father and son visited the food court, they were headed to the car when they saw a fight break out.

"We got behind a pickup (truck), where a confrontation was happening," Daniel said. "I grabbed my son's arm and told him to hold on, something was going on, something was not right."

Daniel's instincts were right. They saw two men punching another man, who was holding a baby.

"The guy yelled out, 'Someone call the police,'" Daniel said. "(He) looked over at my direction and I kind of froze up."

Jude didn't think it was real.

"At first I thought it was a prank or a joke," he said.

It wasn't.

"And then once we had to hide under and then they starting running towards, then he shot," Jude said. "It wasn't a prank anymore."

The two men who were beating up the other man headed towards the foot court, which is when took another turn.

"The gentleman then dropped his baby to the ground and reached into the passenger seat of his truck and grabbed a gun," Daniel said.

Next came the gun shots.

"Once I saw the gun, I grabbed my son and I ran and threw him behind the car and hunkered down on top of him," Daniel said.

He knew they were in danger.

"I watched his feet from under the car to watch where he was walking because he was so close to us — literally feet away from us," Daniel said.

As the shooter drove away, the Tygarts tried to get his license plate number then checked on people inside the food court, finding that thankfully no one was hurt.

"It's unfortunate stuff like this happens," Daniel said. "Even if you have a gun in your vehicle, if you get in a confrontation, don't reach for a gun."

Police were still searching Saturday afternoon for suspects and/or victims in the shooting.

Blood at the scene led investigators to believe someone was possibly injured, but no victim has been found.