A usually busy Memorial City Mall turned into chaos on Sunday (Aug 11) as shoppers were sent running for safety after police say someone in a mask jumped on a table in the food court and threatened to kill himself.
It happened as shoppers were taking advantage of tax-free weekend around 3:15 p.m. Police say a white male in his late teens or early 20s first went up an escalator, came back down, put on a red mask and made the threat. They say he also threw down a bag which witnesses say sounded like “fireworks” before taking off.
The entire incident was captured on video according to investigators and will be released soon in order to help identify the man.
Across social media and more, many believed that this was to be another mass shooting. Videos and images of people scrambling outside the mall began to filter as various shoppers ran for safety, leaving behind personal belongings and terrified.
Initial reports said someone set off firecrackers which led to the scare. An afternoon press conference clarified that it was a man jumping on a table in the food court.
When police responded, initial reports were that someone set off firecrackers, which led to the scare. Only after an afternoon press conference did we learn that it originated from the man jumping on a table in the food court. No arrests have been made in the incident.
“If anybody that was inside the mall has any information related to this incident, we are asking you call the Houston Police Department. You can call our Crime stoppers line at 713-222-TIPS,” HPD Assistant Chief Sheryl Victorian said.
Officers across the country have been on high alert since a pair of unrelated mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio last weekend.