Aventura - Sunny Isles

Christmas shoppers panicked and fled Aventura Mall – but there was no shooting, police said

Panic erupted at Aventura Mall on Saturday night as shoppers ran amid reports of a shooting.

Aventura police said they were investigating the incident and advised people to stay out of the area before confirming that a shooting did not take place.

“Aventura Police has determined that a shooting did not take place at Aventura Mall. The scene is secure but traffic in the area is heavy,” the agency tweeted Saturday night.

Police said that there were no victims and no evidence of shots being fired. The mall was evacuated after being placed on lockdown.

Dozens of Twitter users said that they had heard something that sounded like gunshots. Shoppers gave differing accounts about where the sounds might have from as some said they heard shots at the Macy’s men’s store and others reported the noise in different sections of the mall.

But nobody actually said they saw a shooting.

Anna Maria Madrid said she was inside shopping with her mother when the panic started.

“We didn’t see anything but fools started running,” Madrid said.

The parking lots and garages were backed up as people attempted to leave and some people hit the ground as they ran out of Macy’s.

Similar incidents were reported at both Dolphin Mall and Westland Mall earlier this year and both proved to be false alarms.

Police said the mall would remain closed Saturday night and reopen Sunday morning.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3

Jacqueline Charles: 305-376-2616, @Jacquiecharles

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