Employees at Willowbrook Mall say chaos ensued after initial reports of an active shooter in the food court spread on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m a makeup artist, I was freelancing at Sephora. I went in the back room and suddenly there was a herd of people running at me, screaming gun and I literally dropped my phone and tried to pick it up again and got pushed, scraped my knees and was like, ‘I have to run for my life,’” Amanda Maxfield said.
Shoppers and employees described the frightening moments they ran for safety.
“People were screaming and yelling and we heard something boom, they said it’s the chairs, but the food court is very close. I got lost in the moment. I had customers close to me and I grabbed them and told them to come in the back,” Zales Jewelry worker Hava Caba said. “The first thing that went through my mind was my kids. I just wanted to call them,”
Police confirmed that it was a fight that broke out. One employee told us the fight got out of hand and people began throwing chairs, which is why people thought they heard gunfire and began running.
Kia Montgomery says her lip was bloodied after she was trampled by fleeing shoppers, causing her to lose her keys.
“People started running everywhere and I got pushed and handed my baby over to my husband and it was just complete chaos,” Montgomery said.
While some stores closed for the evening, Willowbrook Mall never closed and remained open until closing time.