PHOTOS: NJ mall on lockdown following gunfire

Hundreds of officers are searching for a gunman at a New Jersey mall not far from Manhattan.

Witnesses at the Garden State Plaza Mall, in Paramus, say the gunman was dressed in black and wearing a helmet. He's said to have fired up to five shots shortly after the mall closed at 9 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the Paramus Police Department won't confirm whether shots had been fired inside the mall.

A manager at a Chili's restaurant told The Associated Press the business is on lockdown. She said a manager at Nordstrom ran over to use the phone and said there had been a shooting.

One customer told she was in a clothing store when she saw a man walk by and then heard three shots followed by two more. She said he appeared to be wearing body armor and was wearing a helmet with the visor pulled up.

Other shoppers tweeted that they were escorted from the mall by armed state troopers. Paramus is about 20 miles west of Manhattan.