False alarm at Galleria: Crystal Run mall given 'all clear' after ‘active shooter' scares shoppers
Police rushed to the mall claiming that they received reports of an armed person in the Galleria Mall in Wallkill
MIDDLETOWN, NEW YORK: Reports claim that a shooting took place at a mall in Middletown, New York on June 22. The mall was put on lockdown. Police claimed that they received reports of an armed person in the Galleria at Crystal Run, Wallkill.
Officials confirmed they were at the scene just after 3.30 pm local time on Tuesday afternoon, June 22. There has been a significant rise in the cases of incidents of shootings recently. In a similar incident on June 15, a total of eight people were shot during a mass shooting in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. One person reportedly died and five others were critically injured after 'two or three' suspects opened fire in Baltimore on June 16. An overnight shooting in North Carolina left two people dead and two others injured on June 18.
Cops informed that they are searching the mall, but did not give information about whether there was an active shooter on the scene. A reporter claimed that a State #Police Spokesperson said "at least 1 report of man with shotgun at mall came in to Wallkill" He further added that the mall is "evacuated" and a "sweep of mall is being conducted." There is no imminent "threat to public, and nothing to substantiate man w/ gun reports at this point".
No injuries have been reported so far concerning the alleged active shooter. Police were investigating to verify whether an armed suspect is or was ever inside the mall. No arrests have been made yet. Police then shut down the roads surrounding the Galleria at Crystal Run in Middletown, NY.
However, the panic was very real as one could see on social media. Footage posted to Twitter by a local reporter shows how shocked shoppers saw armed police rush into the mall.
"Is that a gun in his hand? Did you see that?" one witness can be heard saying.
JUST IN: Reports of an active shooter at Galleria Mall in Middletown unfounded - per @nyspolice, causes panic among shoppers during investigation.— Blaise Gomez (@BlaiseGomez12) June 22, 2021
Video courtesy - Riley Irvin pic.twitter.com/EWfhJX31sl
It brought to mind the November 2017 shooting at Galleria where a woman and her young son were injured at Crystal Run. Michael Perez Rodriguez, then 27, who was wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt and grey pants discharged one round from a handgun into the floor on the second level of the mall in front of the American Eagle store. He surrendered to the police days later and he was charged with reckless endangerment and misdemeanor assault. No gun charges were filed because Rodriguez had a legal concealed carry permit.
People took to Twitter with reports of the shooting. One person claimed, "Report of gunshots fired, Target in lockdown at Galleria at Crystal Run, Wallkill, NY. Not confirmed but my daughter was in the parking lot when shoppers ran out of Target en masse, stating there was a shooter in the mall. SWAT in responding. Pray it’s unfounded please."
Another said, "Just left there moments ago, we heard shots and saw officers with rifles running everywhere. People running in all directions. Pray everyone is ok, but something horrible was going on."
Wallkill Police Department said that the reports were "currently unfounded" as of 3:45 pm. Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus told a WABC reporter that customers and staff were escorted from the building store by store. Footage from the scene showed cop cars and other vehicles leaving the area.
Report of gunshots fired, Target in lockdown at Galleria at Crystal Run, Wallkill, NY. Not confirmed but my daughter was in parking lot when shoppers ran out of Target en masse, stating there was a shooter in the mall. SWAT in responding. Pray it’s unfounded please. 🙏🏻— Somebody’s daughter (@imadickens) June 22, 2021
Just left there moments ago, we heard shots and saw officers with rifles running everywhere. People running in all directions. Pray everyone is ok, but something horrible was going on.— Gabriela (@GabyV78) June 22, 2021
The Wallkill PD released a statement just after After 4.30 pm local time which said, "At this time an all-clear is being given at the Galleria Mall, all people locked down are asked to exit the closest exit."