Police responded to calls about possible shooters at two Charlotte-area malls Saturday night. No one was hurt in either of the incidents, but these events follow in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and have people feeling unsafe – and even fearful – in public places.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police responded to a shots-fired call at Northlake Mall. According to a CMPD statement, no one was injured, but shots were fired outside of the mall. A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
Mass panic ensued after false reports of a shooter in the Concord Mills Mall. According to Concord police, it was a false call - no shots were fired, no guns were found and no one was injured. But videos on social media show shoppers running towards mall exits and taking cover.
Tierra Anderson, who works at the Haagen-Dazs stand in the Concord Mills food court and was working Saturday night, thought there was a shooter and was terrified.
“Out of nowhere you hear screaming and you just see everyone running over like chairs like moving tables around it was really scary,” Anderson said.
Anderson says she hid behind the ice cream counter.
“I was scared,” she said. “I started crying. Like I was really scared.”
Anderson says this incident heightens the fear of public shootings she was already feeling following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people.
It’s a fear that mother of three Kara McCracken says she also feels.
“It’s scary anywhere you go these days,” McCracken said. “I have children, do I bring my children to the mall and things like that? No, because of being scared of what’s gonna happen.”
After hearing about Saturday night’s incident, McCracken chose to leave her children at home with a babysitter. Something she says she will continue to do.
Tony Tye brought his two-year-old daughter, Rosie, with him to the mall.
He says he doesn’t let himself give into fear and with his concealed carry license keeps his gun in his car.
“If I’m going to go out with my daughter, we’re going to be safe,” Tye said.
Tye says having his weapon near and accessible helps him feel prepared for an active shooter situation.
But should the situation actually arise, Tye says getting his gun from his car would not be his first priority. Instead, his first priority would be getting Rosie safely out of harm’s way.
Tye, like everyone else, just wants to feel safe.