SWAT teams dispatched, families flee from ‘gunfire’ and dozens are arrested… all for the sake of a few holiday bargains: Massive brawls break out as shoppers descend on malls across the country
- Malls across the country were shaken by mass brawls and reports of gun shots
- Incidents all occurred later afternoon and evening Monday in at least a dozen malls, with police called in
- Despite multiple reports of gunfire, no police departments said weapons were found
- No one was reported to be seriously injured; in several cases arrests were made
- There was some suggestion that at least one of the incidents was loosely organized on social media
- There is no official word on whether any of the fights were connected
Malls across America descended into chaos and violence on Monday as bargain-hungry shoppers engaged in mass brawls, fought in food courts and – in one instance – led to a SWAT team being deployed.
Fights were reported across the country, with instances at malls in Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Connecticut and New York. Many saw fights taking place in food courts, and incorrect reports of gunfire. Many involved teens or juveniles.
One incident, at The Mills in Jersey Gardens, New Jersey, saw 48,000 people fleeing after a fight culminated in a loud bang and a person shouting ‘shots fired’ at around 5pm.
Video shows corridors packed with panicking customers trying to escape the mall as heavily armed police in body armor arrive at the scene to sweep the area for suspects, Pix11 reported.
Law enforcement is suggesting that at least one of the incidents may have been organized on social media.
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Mall cops: Heavily armed police (left) were deployed at The Mills in Jersey Gardens, NJ, after the sound of a chair thrown in a brawl was misidentified as a gunshot. Crowds fled (right)