/Report of shooting at Dallas’ NorthPark Center mall was a skateboard being banged on the floor, police say – The Dallas Morning News

Report of shooting at Dallas’ NorthPark Center mall was a skateboard being banged on the floor, police say – The Dallas Morning News


Updated at 3:10 p.m.: Revised throughout to include additional information.

People rushed out of Dallas’ NorthPark Center in a chaotic scene Monday afternoon after a reported shooting at the mall, but police said the noise was actually a man banging a skateboard on the floor.

Police Chief Eddie García said that an active shooter was reported in the food court at 1:27 p.m. and that off-duty officers at the mall confronted the suspect three minutes later. On-duty officers arrived one minute after that at the mall, which is off Central Expressway, between Park Lane and Northwest Highway.

García said a “mentally disturbed” man banged the skateboard on the floor, then made hand gestures mimicking a shooting. He did not have a gun, the chief said.

García said he didn’t blame people for reporting the incident initally as a shooting because “there’s a lot of trauma” in the country now. He said he was proud of how officers responded and glad that the incident turned out better than feared.

“We thank God that this was what it was,” he said.

One person reported chest pains, but the chief said he was glad there weren’t worse problems because the incident could have led to people being trampled.

Video from inside the mall showed shoppers rushing for the exits while an alarm blared.

Victoria Rangel, 28, said she’d been watching a showing of A Quiet Place Part II when someone came in the theater about halfway through the movie and started shouting: “Everybody get out! Something’s happening, everybody get out!”

Rangel heard sirens going off and said she started running toward the nearest exit.

”It was just one of those moments where you kind of go blank,” she said.

After hearing what had really happened in the food court, Rangel said she was glad people reacted “how they should have” if there had been a shooter. But she said the incident made her question the mall’s security.

”The mall needs to take a lesson from this and pay better attention to what’s going on in the food court,” Rangel said. “I think it could have been avoided if there was better security around to manage the panic.”

Corey Anderson, 40, and a friend were leaving the food court when they heard loud banging. He said people started rushing toward the exits as flashing yellow lights came on, and he saw parents outside the mall trying to comfort their crying children.

”It was a little scary given that it’s Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “I’m a veteran.”

Police said the suspect, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.

García said police were investigating to determine what charges the man would face.

Last June, a person was wounded at the Galleria Dallas mall when an argument between two people erupted into gunfire.

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