SACRAMENTO, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A group of unruly teens caused panic at a California shopping mall when frightened shoppers suspected a shooting was taking place, police said.
Police rushed to the Arden Fair mall in Sacramento Wednesday night after a group of as many as 20 teens began running around, knocking over signs, shoving shoppers to the ground and making what a police spokesman called an "absurd disturbance," The Sacramento Bee said.
As the teens made their way through the mall, the scene grew more panicked and rumors of a shooter traveled fast. Dozens of calls to 911 were reported and officers from across the city converged on the shopping center.
Sacramento police spokesman Doug Morse credited the mall security company, which contracts with off-duty Sacramento police, for helping dispel rumors of a shooting and quickly restore calm.
The mall was placed on lock down and many shoppers were locked inside stores for about 15 minutes before police it was safe to leave.
Three teens, ages 19, 18 and 15 were arrested following the incident, police said.