Panic Over Potential Gun Shots Turns Out to be Popped Balloon
Recently, the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton was placed on lockdown after shoppers allegedly heard what sounded like gunfire.
At about 3 p.m., the Boca Raton Police responded to several reports of shots fired in the mall’s food court. The mall was placed on lockdown immediately, and the lockdown lasted seven hours. Apple employee and Lynn student Teddy Neer witnessed the chaos first-hand.
“We were locked up in two minutes,” said Neer, senior. “We had over 100 people in the back of the store.”
While shoppers were key eyewitnesses to the incident, Lynn students also witnessed the response on campus. Since Town Center Mall is close in proximity to campus, students heard the distant wailing police sirens throughout the lockdown.
The Boca Raton Police Department determined that the loud noise was caused by a janitor who popped a balloon. Investigators at the mall discovered balloon remains on the floor in the food court. The investigation into the incident has since concluded, and no one was hurt or endangered.
“The janitor said that he popped the balloon,” said the Boca Raton Police Department. “Detectives later found a popped balloon on the floor.”
Since the event, extra officers have been assigned to monitor the mall in case of a legitimate threat. Town Center continues to operate during its normal business hours.