Unfounded reports of gunfire cause panic at mall
An unfounded report of gunfire at the Christiana Mall sparked panic among shoppers and caused an evacuation of the mall on last Friday night, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
However, no one was injured, and there is no evidence any shots were fired, said Master Cpl. Michael Austin, a spokesman for the Delaware State Police.
Austin said several people reported hearing “something that sounded like gun shots” near either Target or Macy’s. However, an investigation found that those reports were incorrect.
Instead, police said, a fight broke out in the mall, and the ruckus caused loud noises that were apparently mistaken for gunshots.
“During this incident, a glass container broke and a metal sign fell to the floor,” Master Cpl. Melissa Jaf fe said. “Patrons and employees immediately began fleeing the area. There has been no evidence recovered of any weapons being present or discharged. At this time, it appears that the fight within the mall is the cause of the mass exit of patrons and employees.”
Several troopers were already stationed at the mall when the reports came in at 8:47 p.m., and dozens more rushed to the scene, shutting off access to the parking lot and locking down parts of the mall.
The mall remained closed for the rest of the night as police swept the building to ensure there were no threats or injured shoppers.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Troop 2 at 302-8342620. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP3333 or via the internet at www. delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.