Conspiracy theories ran amuck after reports over the weekend that there was an active shooter at the Boca Town Center Mall in Florida.
Turns out it was all caught on camera – but it definitely wasn’t a gunman. It was two separate balloons popping. And for the doubters… Boca Police have released the footage to prove it.
Video from surveillance cameras was released Thursday.
It showed the two popped balloons that caused a panic at the mall and caused people to rush from the property or hide in stores.
“There’s an active shooter at the Boca mall,” one shopper screamed into the 911 call.
That was just one of more than 150 calls to police that day.
The “shooting” happened when a janitor popped one balloon with his garbage cart in the food court. Minutes later, a shopper popped another between his legs in the Hollister clothing store.
That’s what caused so many people in the mall Sunday to say they thought they heard more than one “pop.”
Social media also exploded with “footage”. One clip showed a man jerking his head in the direction of the sound and loudly saying:
“What was that, a gun?”
While shoppers panicked, police rushed to the chaos, prepared to encounter a gunman.
After the scene was cleared, the investigation began.
Initially, it was believed the sound was the popping of a single balloon.
After reviewing tons of surveillance footage – they found the second “culprit” – a second balloon.
Police released both the footage of the balloons on Thursday along with shoppers’ 911 calls.
Among those callers, many told dispatchers they saw people “running for their lives” and taking shelter in store backrooms.
A Sephora employee who called in said a woman wiped out and hurt her knee, while another caller said a woman fell and hit her head.
Not a single caller said they saw a shooter.
Dispatchers responded to each caller saying they were getting multiple calls about shots fired, and letting them know that police were on the way.
In the last three calls, dispatchers started shifting their response.
They were no longer telling callers they have received multiple calls reporting shots fired … they started mentioning a gun and saying there were shots fired or a shooter on scene.
In the calls, the dispatchers said:
“We have a report that there is someone at the mall that has a gun or that there are shots fired at the mall.”
When the dispatcher asked one caller if they had any information about it, the caller said:
“No, we just saw everybody running. We’re currently hiding in our back room.”
Someone whispered “don’t open that door” to another person in the room.
“Listen to me. Take a deep breath. There’s shots fired at the mall. We’ve got several officers responding, it’s possibly coming from the food court area.”
According to that caller, they were outside the food court and there were customers in the back room. The dispatcher then went on to tell the person to close the doors to the business and try to stay secure while they wait for officers to arrive.
“I understand we have a shooter there. Did anybody see what happened?” The caller told them, “Nobody saw what happened but we have somebody in here who fell and hit her head.”
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In the meantime, students at a California high school made national headlines after they tackled a gunman and wrestled his weapon away from him, according to La Habra police.
Authorities said that La Habra High School went into lockdown on Tuesday morning after a student reportedly brought a handgun to school and pulled it out during class.
La Habra High School student tackled by classmates after bringing gun to campus https://t.co/KcOoYqj7Cg
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) October 16, 2019
ABC News says that two freshmen didn’t think – they just reacted. According to the report, the two boys pounced on the student with the gun and wrestled the weapon away.
“It was the students who tackled him,” said La Habra Police Sgt. Jose Rocha on Wednesday.
It was not explicitly clear whether the student intended on doing harm with the weapon, or if they had brought it to campus to show it off or potentially sell it, but these high school students weren’t about to sit back and become another statistic.
The student was detained and then placed in a juvenile detention center, according to Sgt. Rocha. It’s unclear at this point whether the district attorney’s office will choose to press criminal charges against the student.
Gun violence has been a hot topic in the news – especially as the 2020 election draws closer. As candidates announce their plans for safety measures, pausing to throw police under the bus, one politician’s plan to begin confiscating rifles might be harder to carry out than he thinks.
An officer weighed in on Beto O’Rourke’s newest plan to take rights away from millions of law-abiding citizens.
His message? You want to confiscate guns from the homes of Americans? Do it yourself.
We’ll leave you with his words.
Beto O’Rourke thinks that we, as police officers, would actually confiscate firearms just because he decided he’s not man enough to handle the sight a weapon.
Spoiler alert: We won’t.
On Wednesday morning, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate addressed his plan to ban certain firearms if elected.
He said he expects the American public to follow the law (which apparently he’s just appointed himself as the guy who can just arbitrarily make laws).
But he also said that if not, there would be “consequences” and law enforcement would “visit” to “recover” the firearm.
“I think just as in any law that is not followed or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences or else there is no respect for the law,” O’Rourke explained. “So you know, in that case, I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else.”
“But my faith is in this country and in my fellow Americans following the law and listening to people who own AK-47s and AR-15s who acknowledge, who concede they don’t need it for self-protection. They don’t need it to hunt. Its real true purpose and use is on a battlefield.”
Guess what, O’Rourke? Your just demonstrated the exact reason why we need them. Because when you decide to go door to door confiscating that which the Constitution protects, you’ve CREATED a battlefield by declaring war on the American people.
I understand that you hate law enforcement. I get that you want to create a divide between police and those who have historically supported the police – gun owners. But I’m here to tell you something: you don’t speak for us.
First of all, you’ve got about as much of a shot at becoming President as Colin Kaepernick has of actually becoming a star football player by his own raw talent (read: no shot at all).
Second, your mission is transparent: to destroy America by removing the ability of Americans to protect themselves from tyrants like you. The same guy who believes it would be impossible to go door to door checking for people who snuck into the country seems to think he can force us, as police officers, to go door to door confiscating weapons.
You’re not very smart.
And so, on behalf of law enforcement, I have a message for you and your fellow anti-American “leaders”. It’s something I shared earlier this year… and it’s perhaps even more relevant today than every before:
I WILL NOT COMPLY.
The New Jersey Attorney General has banned large capacity magazines. They have refused to rule out door to door enforcement and widespread confiscation.
There’s something residents need to know.
I WILL NOT COMPLY.
Liberal politicians ARE coming for our guns and ammunition. It starts slowly, like forcing you to turn in magazines that you paid for and have been legal until now.
Do they really believe we’re going to knock on doors and disarm our fellow citizens? Do they expect us to put our lives on the line to enforce unconstitutional orders?
I WILL NOT COMPLY.
I might be an officer in New Jersey. But you will never know my name… because if you did, I would lose my ability to provide for my family.
The truth is that I could be an officer anywhere. In your town or city. In your state. You will never know who I am… but you know me. I am your neighbor. I am your friend. I am your protector.
All you need to know is one thing. No matter how many anti-gun orders you decide to make… no matter how you use the media to get your message out… no matter how you try and politicize police departments…
I WILL NOT COMPLY.
My oath isn’t to politicians. It’s to serve and protect. It’s to defend the Constitution. It’s not to be a pawn. My oath is to the country and Her people.
Last week, New Jersey banned active police officers from possessing their duty weapons while off duty. Apparently they’re going to change that thanks to media and union pressure.
The union. A collection of those who, in many cases, have traded their spines for a few pennies. They never should have allowed this to happen.
New Jersey “leaders” have also made it clear they don’t recognize the provisions of the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). It’s an act that allows retired officers to carry our weapons or hollow point ammunition.
Our Attorney General says it applies only to those who carry firearms in interstate commerce, and that if we aren’t leaving the state immediately, it doesn’t count. That’s NOT why it was created.
But you can’t expect these liberal elitists who have never been shot at to understand that.
The point of it was to protect us and our families from criminals looking to get revenge and to protect those of us who have become targets thanks to the war that was launched on us by liberal politicians. It was to allow us to be able to respond quickly. Because unlike those who sit on their high horses, we actually run TOWARDS gun fire and danger.
Now New Jersey officials they won’t recognize that law.
I WILL NOT COMPLY.
New Jersey’s law over gun magazines with a 10 round limit went into effect on December 10 and there’s no exception for law enforcement, meaning that we’re all breaking the law by carrying our assigned duty weapons while off duty.
Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo issued a memorandum to us as a reminder that the prohibition of the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines didn’t just apply to our neighbors… it also applied to us when we are off duty.
I WILL NOT COMPLY.
In May, the city council in Boulder, Colorado voted to ban possession of high capacity magazines, bump stocks and so-called assault rifles. They grandfathered in people who already own the rifles. But they said in order to continue legally owning them, residents are required to “certify” their guns with the police by December 27.
Residents have been told there is no database of gun owners being made (like anyone buys that).
But they ARE keeping a record of the number of rifles reported.
So far… the number reported is 87. Officials say there are duplicate certificates in that count, making the true number even lower.
There are more than 100,000 people in the city, and CBS News puts gun ownership in Colorado at more than 34 percent.
That means there’s still somewhere around 34,000 firearms that aren’t certified.
It’s worth pointing out that Colorado has about 5,300 uniformed members of the Army National Guard.
Does anyone think patriots like me are going to truly just hand over or report our weapons to be listed on a database?
Do these officials believe officers like me are going to ultimately go to war with our own neighbors over confiscation?
I WILL NOT COMPLY.
My brothers and sisters, please don’t confuse those of us who hold the thin blue line with those who are trying to destroy it.
I am not alone.
We are with you. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the streets.
WE WILL NOT COMPLY.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
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