SACRAMENTO, Calif. (WJW) — A large brawl in a California mall Wednesday sent shoppers running frantically for the door.
A wave of panic came running across the mall as shoppers scurried away from the chaos that began at the food court.
Police say it all began when a fist fight got out of control, drawing in at least 20 juveniles.
“He swung at one of the dudes. They started fighting and then all the groups jumped in, and they all started fighting,” explained one shopper.
Gabby Miller says even after police and mall security jumped in, some of the teens kept fighting.
“The police caught, maybe, three of them, and then they all came over here towards the pretzel place and did it a second time," Miller said.
That’s when several people inside the mall heard what they thought were gunshots.
“We all heard it ’cause everybody was coming to see the second fight,” said one shopper.
Not everyone. Most shoppers were just trying to get away while store employees tried to figure out what was happening and what they were hearing.
“Something similar to gunshots. We don’t know if there was actually gunshots, but it did sound like shots,” another shopper explained.
Police now say they’ve ruled out any gunfire. They believe the sounds of large signs falling over may have led people to report shots fired.
“You start thinking the worst thing that can possibly happen, like I just imagined someone with a gun or just someone coming into the store and threatening us,” said one shopper.
Even after it was all over, and the mall reopened, it was hard for many to catch their breath.
The director of mall security says four people involved in the brawl were arrested.