Black Mob Violence Sweeps Malls Nationwide
Two days ago, we reported that heading into Christmas, countless "mall brawls" had broken out across America's as last minute holiday shoppers were filmed brawling with each other in shopping malls in New Jersey, Alabama, Georgia and other states for those last minute "holiday cheer" purchases. The videos made for for a very Unmerry Christmas.
Now, in the spirit of holiday symmetry, following the one day lull on Christmas Day, the brawls returned on the day after Christmas, with fights, disturbances and false reports of gunfire causing chaotic scenes and shutting down several malls across the United States on Monday, as shoppers scrambled for the best deals in the typically busy post-Christmas shopping day.
The first calls from the The Mills at Jersey Gardens came in just after nightfall Monday. Witnesses said they thought they had heard shots fired. That, along with a fight, led to what Elizabeth police Officer Greg Jones described as a "chaotic panic and everybody running all at once." Eight to 10 people suffered minor injuries during a melee in the food court at the Jersey Gardens malls the mayor there said on Twitter.
Panic followed when someone shouted "gun," after a chair hit the ground, causing a loud noise in the mall's food court, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage tweeted.
The incident led to a SWAT team with riot shields and body armor raiding the mall, while shoppers either ran or hid in stores. No weapons were found and no-one was arrested.
Photos and video clips posted on social media showed heavily armed police officers responding to the incident as shoppers raced to exits and alarms rang out inside the mall.
Similar disturbances unfolded across the United States on Monday at malls that were packed with shoppers returning gifts, using gift cards they received over the holiday weekend or simply searching for clearance deals. Many involved calls of shots being fired and youths fighting. It was unclear if the incidents were connected.
As Reuters reports, a large fight between teenagers broke out in the food court at the Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Police fielded several unconfirmed reports of shots fired, said a Facebook post by the Fayetteville Police Department, which also said the mall was evacuated.
"Once people start running in that area or chairs are getting knocked over, tables, that sort of thing, that echoes and it could resemble the sound of a gunshot to a lot of people," he said.
The Hulen Mall in Fort Worth, Texas, was on lockdown, Fort Worth police said on Twitter. The CBS website there reported that police said officers responded to reports of gunshots but arrived to find that several fights had broken out involving 100-150 people. There were no injuries, police said. Fort Worth Police spokeswoman Tamara Velle said officers initially responded to reported gunfire inside the mall. After breaking up the fights, officers stopped by each store to let people leave while the lockdown remained in effect, KTVT reported.
At least one fight shut down the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois, late on Monday, and police were called to quell the disturbance, the Chicago Daily Herald reported, citing managers of businesses in the building.
Online videos showed uniformed personnel directing mall patrons out of the building and customers fleeing down an escalator. Police and mall management could not be reached for comment.
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