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West Valley mall evacuated as precaution after false alarm of shooting, police say

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Valley Fair Mall was evacuated Tuesday about 7:45 p.m. as a precaution after there were false reports of a shooting, according to police.

There was a crowd gathered in the mall, located at 3601 S. 2700 West, watching a performance when people heard a loud noise and someone yelled “shots,” witnesses told police, according to West Valley City police public information officer Roxeanne Vainuku.

However, she said there were no shots fired but instead a sign had fallen in the mall, causing a loud noise that some mall patrons mistook for gunshots. According to police, people panicked and took cover in stores.

West Valley City police said via Twitter some people were arrested because of “a few skirmishes that took place during the panic and evacuation.”

No injuries were reported in the ordeal, police said.

“We all know what has happened over the weekend and we all know that there is heightened sense of worry anytime we’re gathered as a crowd,” Vainuku said.

The false alarm came just a few days after two shootings left more than 30 dead in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. Both mass shootings took place in public areas — a bar and a Walmart.

Mall management asked police to clear the mall, including the parking lot, West Valley police officials said on Twitter. The mall closed for the rest of the evening, Vainuku said.

Police said evacuated minors were gathered across the street at 3600 Constitution Blvd.

While the mall was closed for the rest of Tuesday evening, the Megaplex movie theater attached to the mall reopened a little after 9 p.m., police said.

Management told police patrons could use movie tickets from Tuesday at the Valley Fair location or any other Megaplex Theatres.

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Lauren Bennett is a reporter with who covers Utah’s religious community and the growing tech sector in the Beehive State.


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