Just moments after reports of an active shooter at a Winn Dixie location in Lauderhill, Florida, heavily armed officers were spotted outside of the grocery store. Many were seen wearing full protective gear and were carrying guns.
Within a few minutes of the news breaking online, the Lauderhill Police Department confirmed that the claims of an active shooter were “unfounded.”
Police arrived at the store, which is located on the north end of the Lauderhill Mall, on Thursday afternoon. Several people on social media had been posting about an active shooter, at least one person saying that there were hostages inside the building, but police have confirmed that was not the case.
According to ABC Miami reporter Amy Viteri, someone claimed that they heard or saw “shots fired” and that the shooter then “ran into Winn Dixie.” However, police say that they did not find a shooter when they did a full sweep of the store.
Police have launched an investigation and hope to fully understand what may have happened in this apparent false alarm. As of now, it is unclear how the reports of an active shooter first started.
Winn Dixie is working with police in an effort to find out what happened today. Joe Caldwell, Manager of Corporate Communications at Southeastern Grocers, released the following statement, according to CBS Miami.
“We are currently monitoring the situation. We are taking this matter very seriously because the trust and safety of our customers and associates is our highest priority. We are fully cooperating with the Lauderhill Police Department and Broward County Sheriff’s Office on this active investigation and defer any updates to them while details are still being confirmed.”
At this time, it appears as though the Winn Dixie is still open for business. In the video above, you can see shoppers walking out of the store holding their grocery bags. No one was hurt inside the store.