NJ mall evacuates after fight but no shots fired, police say
PARAMUS - Shoppers at the Garden State Plaza hurriedly evacuated Saturday after the sounds of a bottle breaking during a fight were mistaken for gunfire.
The "physical altercation" broke out shortly after 4 p.m. and customers at the mall chose to get out. A bottle likely broke during the fight and someone thought it was a shooting, Police Chief Ken Ehrenberg told the Daily Voice.
Ehrenberg told NorthJersey.com that there was no official evacuation order.
"Someone must have yelled 'gun' and it spread like wildfire," Ehrenberg reportedly said. "Once that genie has been taken out of the bottle," he continued, "it's hard to put it back in."
Everyone was allowed back inside the mall within the hour.
Paramus police confirmed on Facebook that there was no danger to the public. There is an investigation to find the people responsible for the fight. No arrests have been made.
"Paramus units responded to a physical altercation at the Garden State Plaza," police said. "There was no shooting."
Mall goers who were at the Garden State Plaza during the incident described panicked running and screaming on social media.
"I’m so shaken up and confused," Caira Marie said. "never thought my husband and I would be grabbing our kids and running out of the mall like that."
A shooting at the American Dream mall in East Rutherford caused a lockdown last month. The violent incident left one man hospitalized with a gunshot wound.
State Police announced charges last week against a Brooklyn man for the shooting, including attempted murder.