Parts of Sawgrass Mills mall in Sunrise were evacuated and other zones were placed on lockdown Sunday afternoon following a robbery, police say.
The 911 call originally came in reporting an active shooter, but that turned out to be false as chaos filled the sprawling complex, police say.
Officers combed the mall for a “shoplifter who had a knife,” according to police. SWAT was also on the scene.
“Sunrise Police Department are not working an active shooter at Sawgrass Mills Mall,” the department posted on Twitter at about 2:45 p.m.. “The incident was a shoplifting where the suspect had a knife.”
About an hour later, the department announced the mall was “cleared” and “back open.” The suspect however is still on the loose.
A Sunrise police spokesman told the Miami Herald police weren’t letting anyone inside the mall as units scoured the mall.
“Some areas of the mall were placed on lockdown and others were evacuated. We are still trying to identify what exactly happened. All we know is that the suspect tried to steal from a Bloomingdale’s and a Saks Fifth Avenue, according to the stores’ loss prevention.”
The mall was filled with back-to-school shoppers a few days before classes begin in Broward.