The shopping center was shut down for 45 minutes around 4:30 p.m. after at least two shots were fired from a vehicle. One hit the glass window next to the entrance at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse at 180 El Camino Real and a second bullet struck an unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot. The restaurant was open for business at the time, and customers were inside. No one was injured by the bullets, police said.
A witness saw a person in a black Chevrolet Camaro driving north on El Camino Real extend a pistol out of the driver's side window and open fire. The location is near the El Camino Park soccer field. The witness could not describe the shooter.
Detectives obtained a warrant for Ginsburg's arrest on Tuesday morning on suspicion of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied building, which are both felonies. They arrested him without incident at about 9:55 a.m. in the 2600 block of Augustine Drive in Santa Clara. Police also processed his car, a black 2018 Chevrolet Camaro, for evidence.
Investigators also served a search warrant at Ginsberg's home in the 300 block of Crescent Village Circle in San Jose. They recovered the firearm, an unregistered 9mm polymer handgun, commonly known as a "ghost gun," which police believe was used in the shooting.
Officers booked Ginsberg into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. Police suspect he acted alone, and there is no evidence that anyone else was in his car during the crime, they said.
In a statement regarding Ginsberg's arrest, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse said, "We are grateful for the swift investigative work of the Palo Alto Police Department and thankful they were able to find the person responsible quickly."
The shooting and large response by Palo Alto police led to a tense scene for more than two hours, as mall security guards told store employees to lock their doors and officers closed down El Camino Real during a busy rush hour. One store worker reported seeing people running in panic.
Osvaldo Jimenez, an employee at the Pinkberry frozen yogurt shop, said he was just arriving for his shift at the store shortly after the incident.
"There were cops in cars on every corner" of El Camino Real in the vicinity of the shopping center. "People were waiting a half an hour to drive out of the area because the exits on El Camino were blocked off."
Nadine Rossetto has "never seen anything like this" in her 40 years of living in Palo Alto. She's a seven-year employee at the nearby Anthropologie clothing store.
At one point, all the businesses at the mall were closed, except for Macy's. Some started to reopen soon after traffic resumed on El Camino Real.
At Pinkberry, one of the stores that reopened, employee Christine Thompson said they followed instructions from shopping center security personnel, who told store workers to lock their doors, turn off the lights and stay indoors.
"We also decided to turn off the music so we could hear if anything was happening," she said.
"It put me in a panic, especially when people started running," she said.
But when Jimenez arrived, he said he saw people sitting down or walking fast, but there was no panic.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.
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