WEST NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Shoppers witnessed a terrifying incident at the Palisades Center Mall in Rockland County Monday, when a woman fell to her death from the fourth floor.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the incident happened just after 1 p.m. at the West Nyack mall, when the lunch crowd was inside. Police believe the woman intentionally climbed over the railing and plunged to her death.
Four hours after the incident, yellow tape blocked off the area on the top floor of the mall where from which the woman plummeted.
Mitch Saul, an off-duty EMT and auxiliary police officer, was shopping nearby at the time and said he head the woman’s body hit the ground floor.
“I looked over the railing and I saw this woman on the ground, with big pool of blood by her head,” Saul said.
Saul’s natural instincts led him to the woman’s side, and he did everything he could to save her – but could not.
“I immediately ran down the steps. I was the first one on the scene. I started giving her CPR after checking pulses, and I didn’t feel any pulses,” he said.
Clarkstown police believe the woman intentionally jumped from the fourth floor. Saul said the woman had no belongings on her.
The railings appear to be standard height, and though there have been similar suicidal jumps at the Palisades Center in the past, Saul said he does not believe the woman’s fate Monday was an accident.
“I come to this mall a lot. It’s hard just to fall off over the railing,” he said. “It’s really, really sad, you know, that that’s their best option — to end it all.”
Police late Monday afternoon were still investigating the incident and had not identified the woman. While the area where the woman died remained closed off, the mall was kept open for business.