Times Union To Run Special ‘SEEN at Crossgates Mall Shooting’ Feature

By Scott Salad

Published November 20th, 2016

ALBANY— If you were one of the thousands of people who ran for cover at Crossgates Mall on Nov. 12 as gunfire erupted near the Apple Store, chances are pretty good your frightened mug will soon be featured on the Times Union website.

The newspaper has confirmed that the shooting, ensuing stampede and the tactical SWAT unit's swift response will be the focus of its popular slideshow feature, “SEEN,” scheduled to post on Wednesday.

“In terms of the ‘SEEN’ feature, we normally stick to fun events and galas throughout the region,” said Times Union Crossgates Mall Bureau Chief Klaus Koonter. “But this shooting got us thinking: Maybe our feature doesn't always have to be full of pasty white people dressed to the hilt, having a good time. Maybe it's just as much an opportunity to highlight a panicked mass of consumers running for their lives.”

Though the pool of pictures has yet to be finalized, Koonter said it will basically be full of middle-aged moms — with bags in hand — running through the mall screaming, old people being trampled, employees huddled in storerooms and Apple Store geniuses snapping selfies while lying on the floor pretending to be dead.

“We got some pretty dramatic shots here,” said Koonter. “Far more compelling than most of our 'SEEN' features.”

The Smudge was able to confirm Koonter's comments after first having to scroll through hundreds of snapshots of bored, middle-aged men watching the Siena Men's basketball team lose to Canisius on a Tuesday night last February.

If the feature is a success, the TU says it plans to cover more unconventional, impromptu area gatherings.

“Think about it: Traffic jams on the Northway, fires, manhunts, acts of mass civil disobedience. Really, anytime people gather in numbers, we'll be there,” the paper said.

The news did not sit well with Jan Michael and Marie Flart, a Clifton Park couple who has tried in vein for years to be “SEEN” by the TU.

“I can deal with going to shitty SPAC concerts, charity balls and restaurant openings hoping to get our picture on the TU's site, but I'm not sure it's worth dying for,” said Michael. “Maybe it is, I don't know. I guess that’s something Marie and I will have to discuss.”


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