Miami. Aug 20 (TNS): Several gunshots were heard in Dolphin Mall, in Miami-Dade County, early Sunday morning, sources revealed, adding that the location is now on a lockdown as law enforcement agencies and emergency teams respond to the incident.
Some of the people present in the mall at the time took to Twitter to inform others of what has transpired. Reports suggest that there was an active shooter in the shopping place at around 9 PM local time.
The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) at 8:20 AM PST (Sunday) tweeted confirmation of an “active scene” at the Dolphin Mall, asking people to steer clear of the area.
Nevertheless, MDPD said they were unable to confirm if there was any shooter or victims in the area.
A source disclosed earlier that Sweetwater Police officials don’t believe there’s an active shooter situation in the Dolphin Mall, they are treating it as such.
The MDPD has taken over the ongoing Dolphin Mall investigation from the Sweetwater Police officials, who, along with those from the Florida Highway Patrol and the City of Doral Police Department, arrived shortly after the first report.
On the other hand, a video also surfaced that allegedly shows the panic-stricken visitors running through the mall amid the sound of firing in the background.
Alejandra Peña, 18, who is a resident of Miami, Florida, explained she “heard people screaming and running” when she, alongside her friends and family, was on the second floor.
“Everyone was running [but] I couldn’t see the shooter,” Peña recalled to Geo.tv via Twitter’s direct messaging service. “I think there were multiple [shooters, but] police backed us away and made us hide by the theatres,” she added.
The witness said considering it was early night time, there were a lot of visitors and shoppers in the mall. However, she was unable to comment on whether there were any casualties.
People “were like yelling, crying, it was very scary,” Edward Nunez, a mall worker, told NBC Miami. “We saw the SWAT moving through the hallways and screaming like ‘move, move, and ‘get out, get out’ and it was very scary.”
Andrea Piccardo, another witness who was in the mall’s movie theatre and spoke to Miami Herald, said she “figured it might be a shooter”, given how “people are running that fast”.
Dolphin Mall is the “largest outlet shopping center” in Florida’s southeastern county, housing clothing stores, alongside dining and entertainment venues as well.