- Jim Hayward Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The Aventura Mall in northeast Miami-Dade County was shut down tonight in the midst of the last-minute Christmas shopping rush after panic erupted over a rumored shooting that proved to be false.
Aventura police tweeted around 7:30 about a "possible incident" at the mall after dozens of Twitter users said they heard what sounded like gunshots. The mall was evacuated after being placed on lockdown, the Miami Herald reported.
There were conflicting reports of where the alleged shots might have come from, and nobody said they actually saw a shooting. "We didn’t see anything but fools started running," shopper Anna Maria Madrid told the Herald.
At 8 p.m., Aventura police tweeted that there was no evidence of a shooting but that people should stay out of the area. The panic created a traffic jam as people tried to flee.
Similar incidents were reported earlier this year at two other Miami-Dade malls.
The Aventura Mall will reopen Sunday morning, police said.