False alarm prompts Westland Mall to close during investigation

Loud noise prompts evacuation, 'shots fired' police investigation

HIALEAH, Fla. – A loud noise at Westland Mall prompted a frantic evacuation and a police investigation on possible shots fired during Black Friday. It turned out to be a false alarm. 

After the panic erupted, Hialeah Police Department officers responded to the mall at 1675 W. 49 St. Fire Rescue personnel also responded as a precaution, but there were no injuries reported. 

"We have not been able to confirm any shots being fired nor anyone who witnessed anyone shooting," Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez said about 3 p.m. 

Security at the mall reported someone decided to pull the fire alarm after something fell and caused a loud noise. Shoppers scattered and police officers flooded the busy mall about 1:50 p.m., but after about 30 minutes they had found no sign of any gunshots, a suspect or casualties. 

Rodriguez said detectives were still investigating what set off the security alert. 

Three major stores -- Macy's, JC Penney and Sears -- anchor the mall, which reopened about 2:35 p.m. Other popular stores include H&M, Victoria's Secret, G by Guess, Pandora and Tous. 

People in crowded places in the United States and Europe have been jumpy due to a series of mass shootings and terror attacks. 

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.