After a shooting threat was found in an online gaming chat room to shoot up the Mall of Georgia today, mall management told employees working in the mall that the increased police was only for a “Training Exercise”, and not to worry about it.
Gwinnett County Police were notified by another member of the chat room about the threats that were made on Monday. Apparently the threats were specific to the date and time; Tuesday, June 28th at 3:00 pm. Other details included the number of people that would be shot and would be ended by a suicide by the shooter.
This is the first Tweet made by the Gwinnett Police Department today:
According to a source that I have who works inside the mall, security was called upon hearing about the threat from a co-worker whose husband is a police officer with Gwinnett County, and immediately informed their co-workers. A representative from mall management then went to that store and lied to them only telling them that it was ONLY a training exercise. Later in the day, a mall security officer was asked about it and told them that mall management instructed security to also lie about the real reason. What is wrong with these people? What if the threat actually played out as planned, and no one was able to prepare for it, or evacuate beforehand? That’s absolutely outrageous!
I spoke with several other employees working inside the mall and they were told the same thing by either a member of security or by mall management. I witnessed several patrol cars parked in front along with 2 SWAT vehicles as well as several uniformed and SWAT officers inside the mall between 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm. Some of the stores were closed as they were informed via policy that they could close, but for the most part, everything else seemed normal. (Yes, I was carrying)
Later in the day, the Mall manager went store to store and told my source that Gwinnett Police Department was just trying to make themselves look good. The balls on this guy…
Gwinnett Police have announced that they know the suspect who made the threats:
Here’s all the activity on the Mall’s Twitter page from today:
That’s right….nothing in regards to the activity. I didn’t see anything posted on their website either. I guess making money is more important than the safety of the employees and the visitors. Shameful.
I feel that the Mall of Georgia, which is a Simon Mall should be ashamed of themselves. I personally worked in that mall for about 3 years, and honestly, mall management was the worst part of the job. They also owe everyone who works in the mall and any visitors today a huge apology.
Here is what was posted on the Gwinnett County Government website with a link to the story:
|UPDATE – Terroristic Threats Investigation Mall of Georgia|
|Update #1: The GCPD Criminal Investigations Division has identified the person who made the threats against the Mall of Georgia. We do NOT believe the Mall is in any immediate danger. The detectives assigned to this case are working to determine if criminal charges will be made.
We commend the members of the community for coming forward to bring this threat to our attention. The safety of the people who work, shop, and do business with the Mall is the most important. (Cpl. Michele Pihera)
Original: (Buford, Georgia) Gwinnett County Police are investigating a threat made in an online gaming chat room to shoot up the Mall of Georgia. The complainant in the investigation was also part of the online gaming chatroom and notified police of the threats yesterday. The threat specifically stated that the shooting would occur at 3:00 pm, June 28, 2016. There were also statements made in the chat room about the number of people that were going to be shot and a reference to committing suicide after the shooting.
Due to the magnitude of the threats and an abundance of caution, Gwinnett County Police deployed undercover tactical resources within the Mall of Georgia. There is also a visible uniform officer presence outside and inside of the mall. Citizens should expect high visibility patrols to continue for an undetermined period of time. Detectives are working to make contact with the suspect or suspects involved in this threat.
This is a very disturbing situation that we take very seriously. We have taken steps to develop as much information as possible about the origin of the treat and put numerous highly trained resources in place to protect the citizens within the mall. Our hope is to also deter anyone who would wish to exploit this situation and create undue fear and panic within our community. We appreciate the continued support of the community as we investigate this matter. (Cpl. Deon Washington)
If anyone has any information to share in this case, please contact Criminal Investigations at 770 513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404 577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.crimestoppersatlanta.org. You can also text your tip to “Crimes” (274637). Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.