“We think there was some sort of post on social media about a flash mob for tonight which drew such a large crowd of juveniles,” Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, said.
Shoppers in Baton Rouge ran to the exits and crowded the escalators in a panic; all of the activity was caught on video by cellphones.
There were rumors of guns being present on the premises at the time. Mall employees were given an evacuation order abandoning the cash registers as the fighting increased and the police were called to bring the situation under control.
There were ten people arrested for the fighting out of the nearly two hundred that were in the mall as a result of the flash mob.
The fight took place in the food court. There were no weapons involved, although a baby stroller was knocked over during the fighting.
The incident is under investigation, authorities are unsure of how the fighting broke out.
The mall closed the entire night as police investigated.
As Yahoo News points out, the incident is especially disturbing since just a few weeks before a shooter at an Oregon mall killed three people including himself.
“Saw people running and screaming I turned around a girl told me someone has a gun I started running with them,” shopper Missy Melancon wrote on Facebook.
No injuries or weapons were reported, though nerves were rattled.
“Never been that scared in my life,” Juston D’Nea Millet wrote on Facebook. “People were running everywhere. It was like a movie, but you were in it.”