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Lockdown at Westfield-Meriden Mall lifted after false reports of shots fired

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meriden possible shootingMERIDEN -- A mall in Meriden was locked down for several hours after people reported there was a shooter just before 8:30 p.m. However, Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati confirmed at 10:15 p.m. that the mall has been cleared, and no shots were fired.

The mayor added that witnesses heard "booms," which they believed to be gunshots but which may have been from a blown transformer. Many at the scene told FOX 61 that the power was cut immediately before people screamed there was a gun.

Power was out on the side street near the mall.

Police Lt. Sal Nesci said that a woman told a store employee that someone was shooting. Police are trying to locate her to determine what prompted her to make the call.

It remains unclear what the sequence of events was, or what exactly occurred that led to the scare, though people at the scene told FOX 61 they were on edge after the shooting at an Orlando nightclub last Sunday, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

"The country's on edge," Nesci said during the press conference. "Everyone's hyper-sensitive to these things."

Thankfully, no one was injured during the chaos.

Store employees at the Westfield-Meriden Mall that spoke to FOX 61 in the minutes after the chaos began said that they were told to stay in their stores, though many were later escorted out by security and police.

More than a dozen police cars could be seen on site within minutes of the first reports.

However, State Police Information Officer Kelly Grant said at 9:10, "As of right now 'shots fired/active shooter' is unfounded." Meriden Police also confirm no one was shot.

Many on Twitter spoke about chaos and running out of the building. One person told FOX 61 that a woman screamed "He has a gun," and many others said that there were people screaming about a gun. However, it does not appear that there was a gun.

"I'm very shaky I'm very shaky especially everything that's going on you know Orlando, it's just very scary," Gabriela Gonzales, who was waiting outside the mall for her granddaughter, who was inside during the incident, told FOX 61.

We are hearing reports that the incident began in or near Macy's, which is located on the south side of the mall, closest to I-691.

Meriden Police searched the mall and didn't find any evidence to support the initial claims. Berlin Police and State Police assisted in the investigation.

Here are tweets from people who were at the scene when the incident began, though many of their initial reports have been proven unfounded: