There was a scare at the Hamilton Place Mall after someone set off fireworks that people thought might be gunshots.
The mall in Chattanooga Tennessee confirmed on Twitter that, at 4:45 p.m. on December 26, firecrackers were set off in the mall, but said there was not an “active shooter.”
The mall said that 20 firecrackers were set off in the mall’s “Pink” store, causing three minor injuries.
WDEF-TV said that the firecrackers were tossed by unknown actors inside a retailer in the shopping mall, causing shoppers to flee in panic. As a precaution, some stores lowered their gates, the television station said.
Some people in the mall posted photos to Twitter. One that was widely circulated showed the food court with people’s belongings still at tables after they fled.
People discussed how they fled the mall in panic.
Some people described breaking into tears after mistakenly thinking there was a bomb in the mall.
Some people reportedly suffered injuries during the evacuation.
The mall was packed because people were returning Christmas items.
The fireworks sounded like gunshots to a lot of people who raced out of the shopping center.
Even though it turned out to just be firecrackers, people reported that they were incredibly shaken by the incident.
Nashville Patch said it’s believed that a group of juveniles set the fireworks off inside the mall. It was not clear on December 26, the day of the incident, whether there had been any arrests, however.