"Gunshots" that forced New Jersey mall evacuation were just falling displays

Smoke from car fire enters ventilation system, mall patron knocks over display in attempt to avoid fumes, commotion ensues.
By Matt Bradwell   |   May 11, 2014 at 7:54 PM   |   Comments

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PARAMUS, N.J., May 11 (UPI) -- Police in New Jersey have confirmed that the "gunshots" that forced a mall evacuation in Paramus were in fact noise caused by a falling display.

According to the local department's Facebook page, a car fire broke out in the mall parking lot shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday. Smoke from the fire entered the mall's ventilation system, forcing Macy's employees to shuffle customers away from the noxious fumes.

At some point one of the evacuees knocked over a large metal display stanchion located on the main level of Macy's. This large noise, which might have sounded similar to a gun shot [sic], caused a cascade of panic and more people began to quickly evacuate the area. As the crowd rushed from the store on both the main and lower levels of Macys, another display setup, located on the lower level of Macy's, near the mall entrance, toppled over causing additional large noises.

The mall reopened today, keeping normal business hours.
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