HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Tense and frightening moments inside the Westland Mall this Black Friday after someone reported hearing gunfire near the Macy’s department store.
The Hialeah Police SWAT Team was called in, joining a holiday task force that was already in place.
Police radio transmissions captured by Broadcastify show some of the chaos on this busy shopping day.
“We received several calls of a male with a gun.”
“There’s a report so shots being fired from a gun.”
Hundreds of Black Friday shoppers ran or hid during the tense sitatuon.
“I heard two gunshots and saw a lot of people running for their lives. People hid under tables,” said worker Ray Guiu. “It was very chaotic.”
Police units around the mall carefully looked for the source of gunshots as they weren’t sure if the shots were fired inside or in the parking lot.
Officers inside the mall tried to maintain calm as they evacuated shoppers.
Hialeah Police said after a full search of the mall and the surrounding area, they have not been able to confirm any shots were fired. Investigators also said they haven’t been able to find anyone who witnessed someone shooting.
“Shots were not fired. Nothing happened. This was a false alarm,” said Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez. “Apparently someone thought shots were fired. There was a commotion now it’s cleared. Thank God nothing happened.”
Police allowed shoppers to return to the mall at around 2:40 p.m. – about 40 minutes after it all started.
Hernandez said he’s proud of his officers who arrived quickly and efficiently dealt with the situation.
Anyone who can confirm there were shots fired is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.