Town Center at Boca Raton back open after fears of shooter cause confusion, panic

Loud noise at food court leads to scared shoppers, police lockdown

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Extra police officers were at a popular South Florida mall Monday, one day after fears of a shooter sparked widespread panic and confusion.

Cellphone video shows shoppers at the Town Center at Boca Raton running for cover after hearing a loud noise at the food court Sunday afternoon.

"It was, like, very chaotic out here," mall employee Mykia Williams told Local 10 News. "Everybody was running. Some people -- an elderly man -- got trampled over because it was hectic."

Heavily armed police officers converged upon the Town Center, searching in and around the property, while shoppers waited in stores or outside the mall.

Police placed the mall on lockdown, but in the end they found no evidence of a shooting.

"We have not recovered any shell casings, no rounds of ammunition, anything along those lines," Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander said.

Heavily armed police officers converge upon the Town Center at Boca Raton after a loud noise causes panic for shoppers and mall employees, Oct. 13, 2019, in Boca Raton, Florida.

One man hit his head on a door while trying to escape the mall and was taken to Delray Medical Center.

"It was definitely a moment of panic," Ryan Perraault, who works at the mall, told Local 10, saying he saw a woman get trampled.

Police continue to investigate the source of the loud noise.

Officer Jessica Desir, a spokeswoman for the Boca Raton Police Department, said people were being directed to the mall's management office to retrieve any items left behind during the chaos.

Copyright 2019 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.