Shooting scare causes panic at Aventura Mall near Miami

PUBLISHED Sat, December 23, 2017 - 7:29pm EST

Panic erupted at the Aventura Mall near Miami on Saturday evening after reports of a possible active shooter, but officials later determined that no shooting had taken place. The mall was put on lockdown and details remain limited.

The incident began just after 7 p.m. ET on Saturday when officers began responding to reports of a shooting at the mall, which is located in a northern suburb of Miami. Several witnesses reported hearing loud "bangs" inside the mall, causing panic among holiday shoppers.

Video footage from the scene showed people frantically leaving the mall while others said they were taking shelter in stores or the parking garage. A large number of emergency services have responded to the scene and the mall was put on lockdown while police officers worked to clear the area.

"Aventura Police has determined that a shooting DID NOT take place at Aventura Mall. The scene is secure but traffic in the area is heavy," the police department said in a tweet at 8:21 p.m. It provided no further details about what may have caused the scare.

In at least one video, police officers could be seen taking someone into custody just outside the mall, but it was not immediately known why he or she was being detained or whether it was directly related to the reports of a shooting.

On Twitter, the mall said in a tweet: "Aventura Police have found no evidence of a shooting. Still being investigated. .. Mall being evacuated as a precaution. Again, Aventura Police have found no evidence of a shooting."

The mall will remain closed for the evening but is expected to reopen as scheduled on Sunday morning.

The Aventura Mall, which first opened in April 1983, is home to more than 300 stores and other venues, making it the second-largest shopping center in the United States. It is located along Biscayne Boulevard, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) northeast of downtown Miami.

  Aventura, FL     





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