Heavily-armed police officers responded to the Mills at Jersey Gardens, a mall in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Monday evening. A fight among a large group of people sparked panic when some thought a shooting had happened. A chair slamming was apparently mistaken for a gunshot, the mayor of Elizabeth said.
The Mills at Jersey Gardens confirmed via Twitter that an "altercation" had occurred but that it was over. "The safety and security of our guests and employees is our top priority," the mall's Twitter account posted. "We will continue to work with the Elizabeth Police Department during this ongoing investigation."
A shopper shared video on social media showing officers carrying rifles and walking through the food court.
Many shoppers tweeted that staff evacuated at least parts of the mall. Images posted to social media show crowds trying to exit, but dealing with a lot of congestion.
At least two people were hurt, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage said. An 8-year-old suffered a lacerated finger and a 12-year-old has a leg injury.