Deaf man details how employees helped pull him to safety during mall shooting

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 5:41 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A local man credits his face mask and a kind stranger for pulling him to safety when someone started shooting inside the Valley View Mall.

Police say a fight turned into a shooting that sent one person to the hospital Saturday night.

WDBJ7 spoke with a man and his interpreter about his experience during the shooting.

A mask that reads “Deaf,” and the help from those around him, may have saved Clint Colquhoun’s life.

“The mask lets people know I’m deaf,” Colquhoun said.

He said he was wearing this mask Saturday night while shopping at Valley View Mall in Roanoke. He was in the clothing store Zumiez when he heard a loud noise through his hearing aid.

“I didn’t know what it was, if something fell or broke, and they said ‘gunshot,’ and I said ‘oh,’ and they said ‘lets go to the back,’” he said.

Store employees reacted quickly, waving Colquhoun toward the back of the store.

“I want to thank the people at Zumiez who work there for helping keep me safe in the back room and thank you so much, you saved our lives,” he said.

If not for the employees who noticed his face mask, “I probably would’ve ignored the bang and seen people running, and I would’ve run too,” Colquhoun said.

Instead, employees pulled him to safety in the store, where he waited for around 30 minutes before police evacuated him and the other customers.

“Very, very helpful. I was very thankful,” he said.

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