Fearful shoppers were asked to evacuate an upscale mall in Paramus New Jersey last night when smoke and reports of gunshots sent cops to the scene. The Garden State Plaza became a panicked scene as panicked shoppers rushed from the mall in fear of their safety. When they entered the parking lot, there was a lot of smoke, adding to the hype. Thankfully the whole situation was a false alarm, and there were no actual gunshots fired, despite the noises that shoppers heard inside the mall.
New Jersey Mall Evacuated In Paramus After Gunshots Heard
The apparent cause of all of the commotion was a car accident outside the mall, in which a car struck a support beam and caught on fire. The resulting smoke filled the mall’s parking lot, and the support beam that the car crashed into came smashing down. The sound of the support beam falling was allegedly the noise that made panicked shoppers and security personnel believe that there were gunshots.
As the panicked shoppers rushed in herds to the doors to exit the mall, they reportedly knocked over metal product displays, causing many others to further mistake those noises for additional gunshots. This incident repeated itself at least a couple times before the scene calmed down. Many had believed that they were in the middle of a senseless act of violence, and that they needed to run for their lives.
For good measure, authorities still searched the mall for potential hazards, to rule out the fact that there could have actually been a shooting or an organized attack on the mall. So far, it is believed that the initial car accident in the mall parking lot was the sole catalyst for the situation. Police are still investigating what caused the car to crash, and catch fire in the first place.
Shoppers at this mall have a reasonable fear for a shooting taking place, since this very same mall was the target of a shooting back in November 2013, in which a man entered the mall and fired shots before taking his own life. The recent memory of the November events still rang in people’s minds as they struggled to evacuate the mall Saturday night. Thankfully this can be chalked up to a strange circumstance, and mass hysteria rather than a malicious act.
New Jersey Mall Evacuated In Paramus After Gunshots Heard.