Glass cases being smashed during an attempted robbery at a jewelry store in a popular Texas mall on Saturday were misconstrued as gunfire and sent people running for the exits, according to the authorities and witnesses, the AP
reports. All known suspects in the attempted robbery at the La Plaza Mall in McAllen were taken into custody, the city's police chief, Victor Rodriguez, says in a statement that the city government posted on Twitter
. Madeline Madden, a 17-year-old from McAllen, tells the Monitor
that she was inside Glitz and Glamour, a boutique just across from the mall, when she saw people rush out of the mall and into the parking lot. She says one frightened couple ran into the boutique seeking safety.
"The man and his wife came in with their kids and asked if they were going to lock the door, and they told us what happened ... that there had been a shooting," Madden says. "They were trying to get away. ... Someone else came and had cuts all over them from falling." The story was initially reported as an "active shooting" at the mall near the border of Mexico. Several law enforcement agencies rushed to the scene, including officers from the McAllen Police Department, Hidalgo County sheriff's office, and Texas Department of Public Safety. Dispatchers with McAllen police and the Hidalgo County sheriff's office declined to answer questions when reached by phone. The mall is one of the primary shopping centers in the Rio Grande Valley. (See a quick video of the mall's mass hysteria here.)