Customers at Sacramento's Arden Fair Mall, crowded with after-Christmas sale shoppers, went into a panic when they heard loud sounds from a fight in the food court that sounded like gunshots.(Photo: KXTV-TV, Sacramento, Calif.)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Shoppers fled and stores went into lockdown after bystanders thought they heard gunfire Wednesday during a food court fight at a shopping mall here.
police said three teens were arrested in late afternoon after a
fistfight involving 20 juveniles at Arden Fair Mall, about 5 miles from
downtown, broke out.
"The police caught maybe three of them, and
then they all came over here towards the pretzel place and did it a
second time," said shopper Gabby Miller, who witnessed the fight.
when many customers in the mall, crowded with after-Christmas sale
shoppers, went into a panic. The loud sounds from the fight echoed
through the mall sounding like gunshots.
"Something similar to
gunshots. We don't know if there was actually gunshots, but it did sound
like shots," store employee Crystal Rocha said.
A gunman earlier
in this month killed two and seriously injuring another before killing
himself at a suburban Portland, Ore., shopping mall, heightening
"You start thinking the worst thing that can
possibly happen, like I just imagined someone with a gun or someone
coming into the store and threatening us," shopper Ashley Ventura said.
hid behind a jewelry counter at Macy's, and then I was finally like, we
need to get out of here. I'm not about to get shot behind a jewelry
counter," shopper Samantha Lanni said.
Mall Security Director Steve Reed said no gunshots were fired during
or after the fight. Sacramento police said the sounds of large signs
falling over may have led people to report shots fired.
Many stores went into lock down, closing their metal gates when the incident began.
mall has 167 cameras constantly monitoring the mall in real-time, and
security officers can be given radio instructions within moments of an
disturbance. At least four off-duty Sacramento police officers were
working at the mall when the fight broke out.
No one was injured, and the mall was re-opened by 6 p.m.
Maneeza Iqbal, KXTV-TV, Sacramento, Calif.