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Popping Tires Mistaken for Gunfire at Garden State Plaza

Paramus mall evacuated at about 9 p.m. Saturday after some reported hearing what they believed to be gunfire.

Tweet pic from @Jmosel23
Tweet pic from @Jmosel23
The sounds of popping tires from a car bursting into flames in a mall parking lot were mistaken as gunfire at the Garden State Plaza Saturday night.

The Paramus mall was evacuated at about 9 p.m. Saturday, but authorities later determined the reports of gunfire were likely the sounds of a car bursting into flames outside Macy's.

"All NJSP assets clear from #GardenStatePlaza," the New Jersey State Police Tweeted at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. "No shots fired after all, based on evidence and interviews."

Crowds of people stormed out of the mall at about 9 p.m. Saturday as hundreds of police officers, some in full body armor, EMS and fire officials arrived on the scene, according to NorthJersey.com.

One teen said "people went crazy" at about 8:10 p.m. as hundreds went into a panic when they heard what they believed to be gunfire, according to NorthJersey.com.

At about the same time, a car burst into flames outside Macy's with a tire explosion on the burning sedan causing the panic, a law enforcement official told NJ.com.

Less than a year ago, a 20-year-old Teaneck man opened fire last November at the Garden State Plaza before committing suicide.
J Mac May 11, 2014 at 05:57 PM
Wow..another great story...because this means anything to the people who live in Gloucester Township? And elsewhere in the news today, a guy from Parsippany plays Mozart with his farts...
Nathan Tableman May 11, 2014 at 11:12 PM
So...it isn't odd that a car was on fire outside of a Macy's? That alone is a Mad Max level kind of evening. That, and I had no idea people still went to malls.
Elaine May 12, 2014 at 01:47 PM
My daughter happen to be in the GSP mall that night. She said people were crazy. A lot of people rushed into the mall, instead of looking for alternative routes out, away from the popping sounds and some children were trampled on. I'm glad it turned out okay and it ended up only being an expensive shooter in the mall drill.
Lori Anne May 12, 2014 at 05:19 PM
My daughter was also there at the time. People were scrambling everywhere. She said it was the most traumatic experience she's ever had. It's good to hear that everything is okay.

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