UPDATE: Suspicious Bag Prompted Mass-Evacuation at Midland Park Mall 4/2/13
CBS 7 News
April 2, 2013
Midland, TX - Midland Police are revealing more information into what led a mass-evacuation at Midland Park Mall Tuesday afternoon.
Around 4:15 p.m. mall security notified the Midland Police after finding a suspicious green backpack just outside of the Ross store entrance inside the east side of the mall.
MPD and mall security prompted an evacuation of the building.
A bomb squad was called out and they used a robot and x-ray to inspect the bag.
The MPD's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team has confirmed that the contents inside the package are not explosives.
Although the package was not a threat it had many people in fear for their safety.
Shoppers and Midland Park Mall employees described the scene as chaotic.
“We thought that someone robbed the mall but we found out it was a bomb threat in my opinion it's even worse than robbery,” said a Fuddruckers employee Erin Kelligar.
“I was wondering: Who was in the mall? What do they have? What’s going to happen to Midland? Is the mall going to blowup? I think it's crazy.” said a shopper Karrisa Hamilton.
Gage Trevino frantically circled the mall parking lot after a text from his mother who was inside the building at the time saying there was a bomb threat.
“I don't want the mall to blow up, I want to get her out of here,” he said, “She just texted me and told me that she was in there and they were not letting her leave.”
Sarah Higgins a spokesperson with the City of Midland says the police department's EOD team didn’t take any chances.
“They go to training all over the United States as well as here in Midland to prepare for these kind of events,” she said.
After finding no threat, the mall was shortly reopened and Gage was reunited with his mother.
Higgins says the team sent the robot back in to make sure, the building was safe
“What was in the package led us to come out here,” she said. “It sounded kind of suspicious, but there were no explosives.”
CBS 7 asked what was inside the backpack that made it suspicious enough for mall security to notify MPD in the first place, but police say they will not give details about the contents because of concerns there maybe copycats.