Attempted burglary, false reports of possible shots fired cause chaos at National City mall


SAN DIEGO — Authorities are investigating after an attempted burglary at a Macy’s and a false report of possible shots fired at an AMC theater Saturday prompted people to run out of a mall in National City, causing several injuries.

Initially, the National City Police Department said they received numerous 911 calls regarding possible shots fired at the Westfield Plaza Bonita around 3:48 p.m. Officers arrived at the scene shortly after and sent in teams to the AMC theater and other parts of the mall.

According to the department’s police captain Alex Hernandez, there was nothing to indicate that shots were fired in the mall, as no people with firearms nor shell casings were found. Local hospitals were also checked, but no gunshot victims related to the mall were discovered. However, Hernandez says one movie patron did pull the fire alarm that caused a stampede and fight with some people being trampled.

Lt. Antonio Ybarra said he was getting reports from National City Fire Department that three to four people were hurt as they tried to leave the theater — the injuries range from a foot and elbow to head.

At the Macy’s, the National City Police Department’s watch commander confirmed security caught a person suspected of attempted burglary. It is unknown if the individual is a man or woman. The incident sparked customers to run as well, police said.

Earlier this week, two thieves Tuesday reportedly used a hammer to break a display case at a kiosk at Westfield Plaza Bonita and made off with jewelry, local authorities said.

The investigation remains ongoing.

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