Bomb threat evacuates NJ mall on Black Friday
EAST RUTHERFORD — The American Dream super mall and entertainment complex was evacuated early during a security concern early on Black Friday.
Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed that it was a bomb threat being handled by State Police, in a message posted to X (formerly Twitter) just before 9 a.m.
He continued "If you’re on site, all customers, tenants, and employees should follow guidance from law enforcement and walk to the nearest exit and safely evacuate the building out of an abundance of caution."
Shoppers and visitors within the mall and the surrounding area said they received a similar safety alert on their phones.
The situation unfolded early on what is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Employees and patrons were used to avoid the elevators, and instead use stairs to make their way outside the sprawling mall complex adjacent to the Meadowlands in East Rutherford.
By around 9:30 a.m., it appeared that some people were being allowed back toward the building, as seen from a CBS New York news helicopter overheard.
Before 10 a.m., State Police were able to reopen the mall, according to Murphy, who added "We will remain vigilant to ensure everyone stays safe this holiday season."
American Dream encompasses roughly three million square feet, according to Business Insider, which cites the mall complex's website.
Shooting outside mall prompts 2022 lockdown
Previously, American Dream dealt with a security lockdown over a year ago, in April 2022, due to a situation involving a shooting in a parking deck.
Police determined it to be an isolated incident, as other published reports said that the person who had been shot walked into the mall before being rushed to a hospital.
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