Customers at a Ross Dress for Less store ducked for cover when they were besieged by gunfire late Wednesday night at a shopping center north of Decatur.

The gunfire came from the direction of the parking lot around 10 p.m., just before the North Decatur Road store closed for the night, shoppers told Channel 2 Action News. Once the bullets stopped flying, a man stumbled inside, begging for help.

“One of the guys ran into the store and went into the bathroom where we were hiding and was bleeding out in there,” Franchesca Casiano told the news station. “We put pressure on his wound, but it wasn’t much that we could really do in the back of the store.”

DeKalb County police said the 20-year-old victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds but was rushed to a hospital and is expected to survive.

The Ross store is in the Suburban Plaza Shopping Center, which is anchored by a Walmart and home to a number of other businesses, restaurants and medical offices. Casiano said someone parked in front of the clothing store and started firing.

“I saw the shooting — all the sparks with all the bullets,” she said. “I threw myself underneath the racks and crawled to the back,” where she found the bathroom.

Police said the first 911 call came from the Comet Pub and Lanes bowling alley located on the opposite side of the building, along the plaza’s Church Street entrance. The caller was reporting an unknown person firing a gun, and an incident report noted that the victim had just left the bowling alley when the gunfire erupted.

He ran to Ross in an attempt to get away from the suspect, leaving a trail of blood through the store, the report states.

One of the shoppers told police that she was leaving the store when she saw a Dodge Charger speeding through the parking lot with a man hanging out of the passenger-side window firing a large assault rifle. The same witness said she was grazed by a bullet but declined medical attention, according to the report.

Other businesses in the plaza, including DeKalb Women’s Specialists and A Smile 4U Dentistry and Orthodontics, were damaged by the gunfire. The women’s clinic and dentist office are located near the bowling alley.

Bullets also pierced the windows of a Nissan Sentra parked out front.

On Thursday morning, Erika Auld arrived to work at the dentist office and was surprised to find that its windows had been shattered. She’s been working there for only two months, she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and hadn’t heard of anything similar happening in the area before.

Auld, who is pregnant, said her boyfriend is concerned for her safety.

“Yesterday, I was here alone doing rescheduling and confirming appointments,” she said. “At least (the shooting) was like at night, to where I (wasn’t) here by myself.”

Auld said they’ll have to call about 100 patients to reschedule until the glass is repaired.

Police said they do not believe the shooting was random, but they have not disclosed any information about what may have motivated it or if it was connected to any of the businesses.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police by calling 911 or dialing the homicide unit’s tip line at 770-724-7850.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.