(CNN) -- A gunman killed eight people and wounded five others Wednesday at the popular Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, before apparently turning the gun on himself, police said.
An employee who was inside the Von Maur store when a gunman opened fire is comforted by her daughter.
Seven people died at the scene, and two -- a man and a woman -- died after reaching Creighton University Medical Center.
Three of the wounded are in critical condition.
The shootings began just before 2 p.m. at the Von Maur store inside the shopping complex.
The gunman had a rifle, Negron said. Watch police talk about the shooting »
After the shootings began, shoppers and employees streamed out of the building with their hands up.
Some described hiding in clothes racks, dressing rooms and bathrooms after hearing the shots. Watch witnesses describe the ordeal »
"I was standing around getting ready to go back to work and all of a sudden I heard this bang, bang, bang -- it sounded like someone shooting fireworks," a witness told CNN affiliate KETV. "I ran to get away from whatever was happening."
Shoppers described scenes of horror as they fled the mall.
"We heard about 35, 40 shots, and on our way our we did see someone down by the escalator, bleeding," Jennifer Cramer told KETV.
Another witness said people started running frantically from the Von Maur area saying there was a shooting.
"I heard three loud pops," said mall employee Charissa Tatoon. "Immediately after that, there was a series of maybe 20 to 25 more shots up on the third floor." She said she saw a man shot on the second floor and "at least four or five" people brought out on gurneys.
As news of the shooting spread, people gathered outside the mall, checking on loved ones who were inside.
The shopping center will be closed until at least Thursday, police said.