DALLAS (AP) – Panicked shoppers exited a Dallas mall after a man hit a skateboard on the ground in a food court on Memorial Day and made hand gestures as if he was shooting, police said.
“That voice clearly caused panic,” Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said. “When the crowd started running, the man focused on him and then started making hand gestures as if he was shooting at the crowd, which aggravated the situation.”
Garcia said police received a call at 1:27 p.m. Monday about an active shooter at Northpark Center.
He said that within three minutes, the man was confronted by off-duty officers at the mall. On-duty officers responded a minute later.
“When officers were arriving, there was apparently chaos throughout the building,” Garcia said.
Police said the man was taken into custody and taken to a regional hospital for medical evaluation. Garcia said the man did not have a gun.
Videos taken inside the mall showed shoppers running to exit after an alarm was sounded.
Garcia said people could have been crushed as a result of the incident, but he did not blame those who reported what he heard as shootings because there is “a lot of trauma” in the country.
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