(Reuters) - Gunshots were fired inside a crowded mall in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon and there were no immediate reports of injuries, police said.

Police placed the Crabtree Valley shopping center on lockdown and officers escorted the remaining shoppers out of the mall, Raleigh Police Department dispatchers said.

It was unclear what motivated the shooting or whether more than one shooter was involved, police said. There were no suspects in custody.

"We heard at least 10 shots, maybe more. It was loud. We were close," Kristen Warring, 26, told The News & Observer newspaper. She said she was shopping with her boyfriend when the shots rang out at about 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT).

Video footage posted on social media showed dozens of shoppers rushing toward an exit. Photos posted on Twitter showed a heavy presence of police with weapons drawn surrounding the mall as hundreds of people gathered across the street.

Crabtree Valley, with nearly 200 stores, is one of the largest enclosed malls in the U.S. Southeast, according to its website. The mall did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tony Rice, a contributor to WRAL.com, said he sheltered in place when people began screaming and running from the mall. Rice reported that Raleigh police officers were evacuating stores in the food court area.

"I thought it was an earthquake when people started running," Rice told WRAL-TV. "It was panic."

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and Frank McGurty in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)