DANBURY — State Police and Danbury Police responded to Danbury Fair Mall Friday night after a brief brawl and subsequent gun rumors created panic.
“It was crazy. I’ve never seen so many people running in the mall,” said witness Alex Desarden.
Desarden says she was shopping for an iPhone case with her mother, when suddenly, shoppers started screaming and running.
At that point, Desarden and her mother, Elena, still had no idea what was wrong, just that people were panicked.
“You’re kind of like almost in a shock because you don’t know what’s going on and you just saw all these stores started closing and we just ran into the store and, hopefully, were trying to find out what’s going on,” Elena Desarden said.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton confirmed that a fight broke out near the food court involving 10 to 15 “kids.”
Following a police investigation, no gun was ever located.
Some say that when the fight broke out, someone in the crowd shouted “gun,” possibly prompting the chaotic response.
“All of a sudden these girls start running in front of us and ran into the store, and we didn’t know what was going on, and this family started freaking out and saying something’s going on and all the stores, they started shutting down,” said Alex Desarden.
Alex and her mother say they ran into a Vera Bradley store and hid in a back room.
But within 45 minutes, State Police and Danbury officers had arrived at the scene and had it cleared quickly.
Some say the gun rumors, largely fueled by Twitter postings, added false hysteria to an already tense situation.
“Instead of keeping calm, they just get really upset about it, and it just kind of gets into a bigger story than it needs to be, but thankfully no one got hurt and everyone was OK,” said Elena Desarden.