Suburban Indianapolis mall reopens after online threat

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PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — A mall in a suburban Indianapolis community where schools canceled classes amid online threats reopened Saturday, hours after shoppers were evacuated following another online threat that police said was apparently made by the same person.

Plainfield Police Capt. Jill Lees said the Shops at Perry Crossing, about 15 miles west of downtown Indianapolis, reopened Saturday morning and was "pretty packed" with holiday shoppers. She said additional officers were patrolling the mall as a precaution.

Lees said the mall, including its theater where the new "Star Wars" movie is showing, was evacuated late Friday after Facebook postings threatened violence at the mall and specifically mentioned its JC Penney store. Police and the mall's managers had made a joint decision to evacuate the outdoor mall, where stores, shops and restaurants are linked by sidewalks and streets, she said.

"There were a couple of very lengthy 'This is what I'm going to do' threats made against the mall," Lees said. "It was getting toward the end of the evening and the highest population of people at the mall was at the theater at that time."

She said the Facebook threats against the mall appear to have been posted by the same person who made threats on the social media site earlier in the week that prompted the Plainfield Community School Corporation and the nearby Danville Community School Corporation to cancel Thursday's classes.

Thursday was the final day of classes before the winter break for those two districts, which have a combined student enrollment of more than 7,000 students.

Lees said authorities are still trying to find the person or persons who made those threats. The FBI is assisting local police.

"At this point we don't know if it's a male, female, one person, 10 people — we just still don't know that yet," she said.

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