(Reuters) – Gunfire at a shopping centre near Miami on Saturday left one person wounded and SWAT teams searching the mall for suspects, but police said they encountered “no active shooter” at the scene, according to official reports on Twitter.
Midday reports of gunshots at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton, a South Florida suburb about 45 miles (72 km) north of Miami, triggered a heavy police response as Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams swiftly moved into the shopping centre.
Within about an hour, the Boca Raton police department issued an update on Twitter saying, “there is no active shooter at this time at Town Center Mall,” but police added a short time later that “one person with (a) gunshot wound” had been taken to a nearby hospital.
The wounded individual’s condition was not immediately known, nor were the circumstances of the shooting.
Police said SWAT teams were continuing to scour the mall and that anyone remaining in the shopping centre should “shelter in place” until they were reached by officers for evacuation.
Video clips that appeared to have been taken by onlookers and were posted online by local television station WPTV showed large numbers of emergency vehicles converging on the area, and armed uniformed police entering the mall as a group of shoppers hurriedly moved away from its entrance.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Daniel Wallis)