By Kyle James   |  12-23-2017   News
Photo credit: alexrodrigueztv | Twitter

Last minute Christmas shoppers at a Mall in Aventura, Florida were in for a surprise when reports of shooting caused the people there to panic.

Aventura police say they are investigating the incident and advised the public to avoid the area but they did not confirm the shooting. A subsequent tweet from the Aventura police confirms 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."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AventuraPolice?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AventuraPolice</a> has determined that a shooting DID NOT take place at Aventura Mall. The scene is secure but traffic in the area is heavy.</p>&mdash; Aventura Police (@aventurapolice) <a href="https://twitter.com/aventurapolice/status/944739786450964480?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 24, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Police have since said there were no victims and no evidence of shots being fired but the mall was already evacuated and placed on lockdown. Dozens of witnesses reported on Twitter hearing what sounded like gunshots but different shoppers gave varying accounts. Some say they heard shots at the Macy's Men's store and others reported the noise coming from elsewhere.

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One important fact so far is that nobody actually said they saw the shooting.

One user on Twitter responded to Aventura police saying, "But I was there: People heard shots being fired. Tons of people fled past me. They had the mall on lockdown. There were a bunch of fire rescue trucks and cops mobilized. The whole mall was evacuated. Why/How could this not be real?"

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">But I was there:<br>People heard shots being fired<br>Tons of people fled past me<br>They had the mall on lockdown<br>There were a bunch of fire rescue trucks and cops mobilized<br>The whole mall was evacuated<br>Why/How could this not be real?</p>&mdash; Andrew Walker (@Androko34) <a href="https://twitter.com/Androko34/status/944750930532208642?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 24, 2017</a></blockquote>

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One witness named Anna Maria Madrid said she was inside the mall with her mother doing some shopping when the mayhem broke out. "We didn’t see anything but fools started running," she said. Parking garages at the mall were backed up as people tried to leave and others fell as they ran to get out of Macy's as fast as possible.

Earlier this year, similar incidents occurred at Florida's Dolphin Mall and Westland Mall which also turned out to be false alarms but a massive emergency response was mobilized and the malls were evacuated. Police confirmed the Aventura mall would be closed for the rest of Saturday night and would reopen on Sunday morning.

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Source: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/aventura/article191453614.html

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