People shared dramatic videos from inside Town Center Mall as Boca Raton, Florida police investigated reports of possible gunfire. Some of the videos, which you can see throughout this article, showed heavily armed law enforcement officers inside the mall and people hiding or fleeing in panic. Police now say there is no active shooter, however.
People received a cascading series of changing pieces of information from law enforcement, who now say no one was shot at all. “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,” police reported. Police then said a person had a gunshot wound. “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.” 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.
“The mall is now clear and reentry is permitted from 9:30-11pm for employees & people who wish to retrieve items that were left behind. The ONLY entry point is the main entrance. All other access points are locked. Vehicles can be retrieved from the lot,” police wrote.
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.
Boca Raton police had confirmed in an earlier written statement that they are investigating reports of a shooting at Town Center Mall. They have not said yet whether they have confirmed an actual shooting. Sometimes these situations turn out to be false panics, but sometimes they do not. In this case, it’s too early to say but there was clearly a massive law enforcement response to the scene, and the ATF is involved.
Police advised earlier, “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.”
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 by police. However, the 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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Videos Emerged Showing the Panic & Scene Inside the Mall
Frightening videos captured the law enforcement response inside and outside the Boca Raton mall.
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.”
Armed law enforcement officers were searching the mall.
It was clear that a massive law enforcement response had converged on the mall.
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 Sun-Sentinel.
“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. That report had not yet been confirmed by authorities.
This post is being updated as more information is learned about the possible mall shooting in Boca Raton.