Police determined that a worker’s attempt to disperse a rioting crowd at Chicago Ridge Mall Saturday evening made some believe shots were fired, causing the mall to close early.
The closing started about 6 p.m. when several mall workers reported hearing three gunshots and seeing large numbers of young shoppers running. Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar said the mall was "jam packed" when the disturbance happened.
Multiple police departments responded to help evacuate and search the mall, Chicago Ridge police said in a statement.
After interviewing several witnesses, police determined on Sunday that the sound of gunshots was actually a merchant in the food court who "had banged a very large metal pot three times to disperse the crowd" that had gathered in front of their business, police said.
A Mrs. Fields worker, who declined to give her name, said she saw about a hundred kids running around the food court, "causing a riot" before police were called to the mall.
Sbarro supervisor Crytal Escobedo, 27, described it as a "rampage." She said the incident occurred about 6:40 p.m. as a large crowd of teenagers gathered in the food court.
"They were making a lot of noise back and forth," she said.
No one was injured, and no arrests were made despite a video that indicated someone had been detained, police said. The mall operated normally on Sunday.