Today was not a boring one by any means. My dad, Joy, Seth, and I stopped at the Woodland Mall to see if there were any Christmas specials. The place was packed with people doing after-Christmas shopping, returns, and slothing around to pass time. We managed to make it through a few stores before we witnessed one of the scariest in-store events of our lives.
My dad and I were going to take a few pictures of Seth in one of those kiddy-rides (the moving buses, horses, and what-not) while Joy checked-out Shoe Dept. She had just handed me her camera and walked away, and we were about to take the picture, when we saw a group of teenagers bust into a fight.
A full fight broke out in the aisle, and they took it into a store and started knocking displays and racks over. A security guard came out with mace in-hand, and started to spray the group of kids. My dad hands me Seth, and I step back against the wall with him; he goes to check out the situation to see if the security guard would need any help, since he was outnumbered ten-to-one.
By this point, a group of people started to circle around to see the action. Being curious, I got a bit closer to see what was going on. All I could see was one of the teenagers face down on the ground, with his arms cuffed behind his back. Additional security guards were coming to keep the group under control.
Joy never made it into the store, since the fight broke-out just before she got there. She went closer to see what was going on, as I started to back up to stay out of the way. Around this time, we hear someone, most likely a security guard, yell out “everybody get down!”
Hearing that, and thinking the worst[footnote]1[/footnote], the group dispersed, running away from the center of the action. People were running everywhere, scrambling trying to stay away. I darted out of there, holding Seth like a football, trying to find cover in the Shoe Dept. Joy followed suit, and tried to keep up with me, avoiding the frenzy of scared shoppers.
We managed to duck behind shelves in the store. With all the action, the store clerks lowered the barricades, blocking off entry and exit. My dad was still in the middle of it all, trying to find us. I eventually called him and let him know where we were at, and we eventually met up.
After that, we were quick to leave the store. We got out to the car, packed up, and circled around the mall. As we were pulling past Sears, we saw a police car, along with people stampeding out.
Here are additional news accounts:
- Police, ambulance called after two fights reported at Woodland Mall: mLive
- Woodland Stores Close Due to Incident: WoodTV
[footnote name=”1″]We thought that a gun had been fired; I had heard a “bang” as soon as the security guard yelled.[/footnote]