‘Chaos’ in Jersey Gardens — Video of the fight that caused a major panic
Video courtesy of Yusef Wright
ELIZABETH — No arrests have been made after a fight started by four young women at the Mills at Jersey Gardens mall prompted hysteria.
False reports of a shooting spread throughout social media after a chair was thrown and hit the ground with a bang during a fight between four unidentified women in the food court, authorities have said. A person falsely yelled that the sound was a gunshot, causing police to evacuate the mall, spokeswoman Kelly Martins said.
Videos posted to social media show shoppers streaming out of the building and taking cover in department stores. Armored officers are seen as well.
After being evacuated, around 1,000 people were waiting for the public transportation in the rain at 8 p.m. and only buses and emergency vehicles were permitted entry, NorthJersey.com reported.
"It basically turned into chaos," Martins said.
Mayor Chris Bollwage confirmed on Twitter that there was no shooting.
Eight to 10 people suffered non-life threatening injuries and were treated on the scene, including an 8-year-old with a cut finger and a 12-year-old with leg injury, he said. Those injured were transferred to local hospitals for further evaluation and have since been released.
The mall reopened Tuesday morning and the city is now coordinating with the mall to provide extra security coverage outside and near the food court, Bollwage said.
"The safety and security of our guests and employees is our top priority," the Mills at Jersey Gardens said in a statement Monday night. "As this is an ongoing investigation, we ask that you direct all further questions to the Elizabeth Police Department."
Similar incidents played out at malls across the country as shoppers searched for post-Christmas deals, including in New York, North Carolina and Arizona.
And just days earlier, a brawl was captured on video at the Newport Mall in Jersey city — the same site where, last year, a man dressed as the Easter Bunny was seen on video in a fight with an upset father.
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