Some law enforcers have claimed at least one of the incidents were organized via social media. Do you think all these riots were spontaneous or was it organized chaos? Check out the videos and let us know.
Malls across America descended into chaos and violence on Monday as bargain-hungry shoppers engaged in mass brawls, fought in food courts and – in one instance – led to a SWAT team being deployed.
Fights were reported across the country, with instances at malls in Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Connecticut and New York. Many saw fights taking place in food courts, and incorrect reports of gunfire. Many involved teens or juveniles.
One incident, at The Mills in Jersey Gardens, New Jersey, saw 48,000 people fleeing after a fight culminated in a loud bang and a person shouting ‘shots fired’ at around 5pm.
Video shows corridors packed with panicking customers trying to escape the mall as heavily armed police in body armor arrive at the scene to sweep the area for suspects, Pix11 reported.
Law enforcement is suggesting that at least one of the incidents may have been organized on social media.
Video shows cops with riot shields and assault rifles heading into the mall, while staff tell customers to get back from windows.
In one video, a man is heard should that there is a ‘gun over there’, although no weapons were found. The sound of a gunshot was actually a chair being thrown, police later said.
The fleeing shoppers snarled up traffic outside the building, delaying NJ transit buses to the mall by up to an hour.
Eight people were injured in the fight and subsequent stampede, but no one was arrested. The mall will reopen Tuesday.
In Aurora, Illinois, the Fox Valley Mall was evacuated when several fights broke out between customers.
Footage shows security guards struggling to separate dozens of people – apparently youths – near a food court.
They are surrounded by a large ring of spectators – which according to police numbered as many as 1,000 people. In the end 75 police officers were deployed and seven juveniles arrested.
‘I’m still a little shaken up. I’ve never seen that many people inside brawling like that,’ mall worker Alexis Malone, who was working inside the mall, told ABC 7 Chicago.