Authorities respond to Town Center at Boca Raton, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Boca Raton, Fla., as the mall had been placed on lockdown following reports of shots fired. (Andres Leiva/Palm Beach Post via AP)

Boca police chief: No evidence of shooting at mall

The Latest on the lockdown at a Florida mall (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Police Chief Daniel Alexander of Boca Raton Police Department says Town Center mall in Boca Raton was placed on an hourslong lockdown after reports of shots fired. He says authorities found no immediate evidence of any shooting and are now treating what happened as a “suspicious incident.”

Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander says authorities have since received reports that a loud noise alarmed mallgoers Sunday afternoon, causing confusion and a panic that prompted many to leave the Town Center complex quickly. Alexander says one man his department had previously reported as having a possible gunshot wound had in fact a trauma injury he may have received trying to leave the mall.

Alexander spoke at a news briefing, saying most people had since left the upscale Boca Raton mall, though some were still inside Sunday evening while still awaiting evacuation by officers. SWAT officers are continuing to conduct a sweeping search of the mall, hours after the lockdown was imposed with a call for people to shelter in place.

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5:30 p.m.

Police say a person with a possible gunshot wound has been located but there’s no active shooter at a Boca Raton mall that had been placed on a lockdown after reports of shots fired.

Boca Raton police tweeted that the person was taken to a medical center as SWAT teams continued a systematic search of the upscale Town Center mall Sunday afternoon. Authorities didn’t immediately identify the wounded person or say what exactly happened.

Nonetheless, they say there’s no active shooter though anyone still in the mall should shelter in place until officers evacuate them.

The police agency tweeted earlier Sunday urging people to avoid the mall. Some people posted video on social media showing what they said were cars streaming away as armed police arrived.

Author: Associated Press
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