RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A smash-and-grab robbery at a Riverside shopping mall on Sunday evening prompted a multi-agency response, police said, adding that initial reports of a shooting turned out to be unfounded, KTLA reported.
A dispatcher with the Riverside police and fire departments told the Los Angeles Times that at about 6:30 p.m. the agencies were notified of the incident, which apparently stemmed from a robbery at the Galleria at Tyler.
A witness described a chaotic scene inside the popular retail location, in the 1200 block of Tyler Street.
“I understood that they tried to rob a Robbins Brothers jewelry store,” Eloy Medina, who was in the mall at the time of the episode, told The Times. “There were two definitely loud bangs which made all the shoppers on the first floor start running for their lives.”
Several people took to social media, where they described the occurrence as a shooting or an armed robbery, but the head of a neighboring police agency said reports of a shooting were erroneous.
“Officers were called to Riverside Incident as a mutual aid – shooting call. Shooting unfounded,” San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan said on Twitter.
The incident prompted a massive response from officers, deputies and firefighter-paramedics, including members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Eastvale Police Department. Several fire department vehicles were also seen in the mall’s parking lot.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.