Patrons at the Westfield Culver City mall — formerly known as the Fox Hills Mall — faced chaos and pandemonium on Saturday when approximately 50 juveniles started a series of brawls inside.
According to the local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, the incident took place around 5:30 p.m., shortly after police received a call suggesting a man with a gun was in the crowded shopping center. The call reportedly prompted an “active shooter” lockdown and within minutes, authorities realized there was no shooter.
“There was no evidence of shots fired, we couldn’t locate anyone credible who saw someone with a gun,” Sgt. Brandon Vanscoy of the Culver City Police Department told the Los Angeles Times. “We spent a very long time clearing out the mall.”
However, shortly after the police arrived, dozens of teens started running through the mall, setting off panic among shoppers. A series of fights then broke out, both inside and outside of the mall. The chaos was reportedly too much for mall cops to handle and required the assistance of Culver City Police and a SWAT team.
According to local CBS LA, a group of young girls was also pepper sprayed. Several youth who were leaving the mall reportedly said a fight “event” was posted over social media inviting strangers to show up and fight each other. However, CBS Los Angeles notes police were unable to confirm the post.
The Culver City Police Department issued the following update on Facebook:
Culver City Police reportedly said there were also a series of brawls in the mall’s parking lot and told police later told CBS that as many as 150 teenagers were outside the mall fighting in various parts of the exterior, which is why it took much longer for officers to disperse the crowds.
Another, smaller brawl broke out at the same mall nearly four years ago:
Last year, in the Central Valley, Black Friday took a turn for the worse when on Thanksgiving a group of grown men were kicking, punching and wrestling each other at the Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto.
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