For the second time in less than two weeks, noises in a mall triggered a mass panic that left people crushing one another in stampedes away from non-existent threats, even though this time shoppers were warned in advance of a test that was about to occur.
Nine Florida Mall shoppers were injured in a frantic flee from the building after an alarm and popping sounds caused panic at the fear of an active shooter, officials said Thursday.
About 3:20 p.m., mall patrons began reporting on social media that an alleged shooting had occurred in the food court after hearing sharp popping sounds and a fire alarm. The unsettling sounds sent fearful patrons running from the mall.
Orange County Fire Medical and Orange County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene, but there was no gunman, OCSO spokeswoman Deputy Rose Silva said.
Instead, the scare was caused by an industry-standard test as part of the inspection for the grand opening of former ‘NSync singer Joey Fatone’s new restaurant, Silva said. An announcement was made over the mall’s public announcement system prior to the test preparing customers for the noise.
“The test consisted of six large balloons popping consecutively, followed by a fire alarm,” Silva said. “This caused people to go into panic mode and run.”
First responders treated at least 10 patients at the mall with injuries from the frantic evacuation, OCFR spokeswoman Ngoc Huynh said. Four of the patients were taken by ambulance to area hospitals.
The incident follows another non-active shooter incident at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, NC, where loud noises in a food court less to mass panic and a stampede that left numerous people hospitalized.
I don’t know what to tell you.
When the mall PA system says “we’re going to be popping six balloons as part of a test, don’t panic,” and your response is to panic and trample women and children…
Sadly, I sort of understand where this tendency to panic is being manufactured.
The media has manufactured a dramatic increase in”mass shootings” in recent years by adopting a gun control propagandist’s re-definition of “mass shooting” instead using the time-tested traditional definition, in order to push for an increase in gun control. We’re now being told that there are hundreds of mass shootings in the United States every year, when there were in fact just four in all of 2015.
At the same time the public is being force-fed the lie of increased mass shootings by the media, they’re also acutely aware that malls and other “gun free zones” are indeed the kind of places that real mass shooters and terrorists would target, as a terrorist recently did at the Pulse nightclub in the same city not very long ago.
The toxic mix of lies mixed with shreds of truth, mixed with a natural tendencies of herds to panic, is a potentially deadly combination.