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URGENT Woman Opens Fire in Shopping Mall; Kills 2, Wounds 8

October 31, 1985

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (AP) _ A woman in army fatigues and black boots opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle in a crowded shopping mall Wednesday, killing two people and wounding eight others before she was subdued by a passerby, police said.

Sylvia Seegrist, 25, was taken into custody following the 4 p.m. shooting rampage at the Springfield Mall in Delaware County, said Police Chief George Hill. Police then closed the shopping center.

″Hurry up, man, you know I’m guilty. Kill me on the spot,″ she told District Justice Joseph L. DiPietro as she was arraigned on charges of murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Police had dealt with the Crumlyn woman before because of ″emotional problems,″ said John McKenna of the Delaware County district attorney’s office. Following her arraignment, she was taken to Delaware County Prison without bail and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Nov. 7.

According to Hill, Ms. Seegrist got out of her car at an entrance to the mall and began shooting the .22-caliber rifle at a woman using an automatic bank machine, but missed her.

″Then she began firing at everybody and anybody who got in her path,″ he said.

A 2-year-old boy was killed near the entrance to the mall, Hill said.

She then moved inside the mall, turning and firing as she worked her way through the crowded main walkway, firing more than 15 shots in less than five minutes, Hill said.

A 64-year-old man was killed near a shoe store in the mall, according to police and coroners’ officials.

″The woman went on a random shooting rampage until she was wrestled to the ground by a college student″ outside a shoe store, he said.

Jack Laufer, 24, of Media, ″grabbed her from behind, wrestled her to the ground and kicked the rifle away,″ Hill said.

She still had several rounds in the rifle when the student jumped her, he said.

The victims, who ranged in age from 2 to 67, were taken to six hospitals.

Of the eight injured, one woman was listed in serious condition and the 67- year-old man underwent surgery for a head wound.

Two other people were taken to hospitals after the shooting: One was suffering chest pains and another for an unspecified reason, although she was not shot, spokesmen said.

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