Dadeland Mall shoppers hide for safety following shoplifting incident feared to be active shooter

KENDALL, Fla. – Shoppers were scrambling for safety inside Dadeland Mall on Saturday.

People panicked and ran for the exits, fearing the worst.

“I just see the people running to me, so I went that way and that’s it,” said mall employee Sara Cabello. “I heard many sounds from the food court, but I don’t know right now what happened.”

Despite fears of a shooting, officers said they were there to investigate a shoplifting call and that no shots were fired.

When the alleged thieves started to run away from police, chaos and confusion ensued.

Cellphone video later showed two women and one man being led out in handcuffs.

“I just saw a lot of people running towards the Macy’s and I just went and closed the doors,” said mall employee Marie Olinger.

Olinger said she hid inside a fitting room, along with other shoppers, for nearly 30 minutes.

“I think I was pretty calm. I’ve been in these situations before, so (my) only concern was my customers in the back of the store, because I had about 10 customers in there,” she said.

Dozens of officers responded, with the mall eventually reopening.

While no one was injured, it was still a scary moment for those inside who were fearing a shooter could’ve been on the loose.

“I’m in shock, yeah,” said Cabello. “I’m working in shock.”

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.