Fireworks cause scare at Sawgrass Mills mall in Sunrise, police say

Similar incident shut down Aventura Mall before Christmas

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor
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Dozens of people ran outside the Sawgrass Mills mall after hearing loud noises.

SUNRISE, Fla. - Someone set off fireworks inside Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, causing shoppers to briefly flee the shopping mall, police said.

Despite initial reports on social media of a shooting, the Sunrise Police Department said that no shots were fired and no one was hurt. The mall reopened less than an hour after the scare.

Police said they found the remains of the firework inside the mall. Officers are treating this as a suspicious incident, and they are looking for the person who set off the fireworks, police said.

Several shoppers posted on Twitter, believing the noises were gunshots. A video posted on Twitter by shopper Richard Burke shows people running from the mall, thinking shots had been fired.

Some shoppers said on Twitter that they hid inside store rooms.

A similar incident happened at the Aventura Mall on Dec. 23. The mall was evacuated after reports of a shooting, and police shut down the shopping center as officers searched the mall.

However, police found no evidence of a shooting and reopened the mall the next day. 

In August, the Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater was evacuated after false reports of a shooting. In November, on Black Friday, Westland Mall in Hialeah evacuated after someone pulled a fire alarm.

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