Boca Raton police are investigating reports of a shooting at Town Center Mall, Florida, the Boca Raton Police Department wrote in a statement, as fears of a possible active shooter flooded social media. However, police now say: “There is no active shooter at this time at Town Center Mall. @bocapolice responded to a report of shots fired and is currently conducting a search of the mall.”
Finally, police ruled out gunfire altogether: “The victim did not sustain a gunshot wound. At this point, we are investigating a suspicious incident as the source of loud bangs remains unknown.” This is not uncommon in fast changing active shooter scares, though.
Earlier, police had provided a series of updates that kept changing. Police said a person does have a gunshot wound, though. “Updating-no active shooter. Report of shots fired. One person with gunshot wound transported to Delray Medical Center. SWAT teams grid searching mall. If in mall shelter in place until officers reach you to evacuate you,” they wrote. Police then wrote this update: “Correction: One person with a POSSIBLE gunshot wound transported to Delray Medical Center. SWAT teams are continuing to clear the mall and evacuate people. If you are still in the mall, please stay sheltered in place until officers evacuate you.”
They also wrote back to a woman on Twitter who said: “We have been stuck inside a store since 3:15 today. What is the time frame to let us out!?!” Police responded, “We don’t have a time frame because evacuation procedures are methodical to ensure everyone’s safety. Thank you for your patience and cooperation. You will be escorted to a debriefing location and then released from the scene.”
In a news conference, police stated that the one victim, found in the food court, had a non-life threatening “trauma wound” and was taken to the hospital. In the news conference, police backed off confirming that wound came from a gunshot. Police were doing a grid search of the mall.
Previously, police advised, “We are working an active incident at the Town Center Mall 6000 W Glades. Avoid the area or shelter in place. We are working an active incident at the Town Center Mall 6000 W Glades. Avoid the area & shelter in place.”
Where there was actually a shooting had not yet been confirmed. You can see videos from the scene throughout this article. The ATF Miami wrote on Twitter, ” @ATFMiami is enroute to the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton to provide assistance on a reported active shooter.”
“ACTIVE SHOOTER at Boca Town Center. My friend is locked in a dressing room,” a woman wrote on Twitter, although the active shooter reports have now been debunked. However, panic spread quickly. “…in the fruit stand at boca raton. so far everyone is okay. we are in a lock down in the store right now. nothing is confirmed,” wrote another person on Twitter.
“Reports of a shooting at Town Center Mall,” the police wrote on their Twitter page on the afternoon of October 13, 2019. Police said they were on the scene and “currently conducting an active search of the area. Please avoid the mall area. PIO enroute media to meet at 2301 West Glades parking lot.” Boca Raton police also tweeted, “All persons in Town Center Mall shelter in place while @bocapolice and SWAT teams conduct search of mall.”
Video from inside the mall appeared to show heavily armed SWAT officers.
Terrifying videos emerged showing the panic inside the mall.
Police have not yet confirmed whether there was an actual shooting or any injuries, however. Andrew Perez, a journalist with WPLG, wrote, “BREAKING: large police presence at Boca Raton mall. Employees reporting they are locked in place, texting loved ones about *possible* shooter. We’re working to gather more information RIGHT NOW. Standby.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Video Emerged From the Scene Showing Heavily Armed Law Enforcement Officers Searching the Mall After Possible Active Shooter Reports First Emerged
Perez shared the above video. Another video circulated showing SWAT officers entering the mall to look for a possible “active shooter.”
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Joel Meyer told the newspaper that his wife and friends were inside Macy’s when they heard people yelling “active shooter” and running from the store. One friend fled Macy’s without her clothes, according to the newspaper, describing the frightening scene.
“There was a loud pop exploding from around forever 21 and the food court. Then two minutes later I saw 50 people running towards us from a different part of the mall, we think this might have been to get people closer to the target area,” a man claimed on Twitter. This video shows the inside of the mall.
This post is being updated as more information is learned about the possible mall shooting in Boca Raton.