Robbery attempt at south Texas mall mistaken for active shooter

A robbery at a mall in southeast Texas was mistakenly reported by city officials as an active shooter situation, something becoming more common. As of Monday, there have been 188 active shooter situations, in the United States, according to Gun Violence Archive, an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 2,500 media, law enforcement, government and commercial sources. Photo courtesy of Simon properties

July 28 (UPI) — Shoppers at a mall in southeast Texas on Saturday frantically ran outside after hearing shots fired, something city officials had reported as an active shooter situation.

After a tweet warning of an “active shooter,” city officials said the situation was actually a robbery attempt at a jewelry store in the 150-store mall, which is only a few miles from the Texas border.

“Statement from Chief Rodriguez: We are investigating a robbery attempt at a jewelry store @LaPlazaMall. All known suspects are in custody. No injuries involved. Reports of shots fired are attributed to smashing glass cases. #StayInformed,” the tweet said.

Hidalgo County Constable Precinct 4 had warned in a Facebook statement for people to stay clear of the area.

“Active Shooter at the McAllen Plaza Mall Stay Away from the area! Several law enforcement agencies heading to the scene,” the post read.

Johnny Hernandez, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told The Monitor there are DPS officers there but it is unclear if the incident involved an active shooter.

Visitors at La Plaza Mall, which draws shoppers from the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico, were in a panic as they heard gunfire.

One witness told reporters she saw people rush out of the mall and into the parking lot, looking frightened as helicopters flew overhead.

The number of active shooting situations are on the rise. Data from the Gun Violence Archive said as of Monday, 188 mass shooting incidents have occurred this year in the United States.


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