Employee says problems at Hamilton Place are becoming an "increasing trend"
Hamilton Place Mall is back open Sunday after police investigated a shots fired call, and we are hearing from mall employees for the first time.
Hamilton Place Mall is back open Sunday after police investigated a shots fired call Saturday night.
According to investigators, after looking through security footage they determined no shots were fired inside or outside of the mall.
Police originally said a fight broke out in the parking lot, then a person, they believe is responsible, reportedly ran back inside. Sunday, they explained, that after watching security video, the fight actually happened inside the mall.
Police said witnesses told them that several people shouted "gun! he has a gun!" This caused people to panic.
One store associate recalled seeing crowds of people rushing out.
"We found out when people were running by,” James Shiver explained. “We didn't think anything of it until police came up with weapons and ran into the mall."
Store employees tell Channel 3 they were notified through a series of mall alerts.
The first one said:
"There was an isolated incident near sears. All is clear. Chattanooga police department are on the scene."
Police said there was never an active shooter, which is a rumor that quickly spread on social media.
However, many witnesses claim they heard gunshots. Shiver said he could see why people in the mall think that.
"We heard a lot of the gates coming down, which I guess could've sounded like gunshots,” Shiver said, “But I didn't hear any gunshots going on."
READ MORE | 2016 Hamilton Place Mall Black Friday shooting
In the last few years, there have been five serious incidents at the mall.
In November of 2016, two people were shot in the parking lot on Black Friday. About a month later, on the day after Christmas, firecrackers were set off inside a store. Shoppers took cover thinking the sound was gunfire.
In March of 2017, one person was shot in the parking lot outside of Bar Louie.
And earlier this year, a kiosk worker was assaulted inside the mall.
READ MORE | Woman assaulted inside Hamilton Place Mall
Shiver said major problems are happening too often near his store.
"It's becoming an increasing trend," urged Shiver, “ It's pretty concerning. It definitely affects people, the businesses, it creates fear."
No victims have been located and no suspect information has been released.
Hamilton Place Mall tweeted Sunday morning thanking the Chattanooga Police Department for its “quick response and thorough investigation.”