A robbery at a jewelry store inside a mall in Riverside apparently caused many to panic believing the incident was an active shooter.
The incident unfolded around 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Ben Bridge Jeweler inside the Galleria at Tyler, according to Riverside police.
Police said the suspects smashed the glass counter with a sledgehammer, which sounded similar to gunshots.
Many took to social media to report that there was a shooting inside the mall.
One user said via Facebook that people were running for their lives. Others took to Twitter to express panic and fear, while some reported that the incident was a shooting inside the mall.
“We do understand that at first it was reported to be gunshots from that sledgehammer they used on that case. They thought it was a gunshot situation, but obviously they later determined that was a sledgehammer,” reported Gordon Spencer in SKY9. “I think that’s the response that you’re going to get, especially in this area out here.”
Police said they are searching for three suspects, who fled in a vehicle. The suspect’s vehicle was located in the area.
It’s unclear what, if anything, was taken from the store.
Footage from overhead showed a massive police response with officers going store-to-store to clear out the customers and workers alike.