A mall in Alpharetta, Georgia, was evacuated early Tuesday afternoon after an “active gunman” was reported.
The report was generated from inside a hardware store where the suspect was barricaded.
About an hour before the suspect was taken into custody, the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety wrote in an update on Facebook: “At 12:20 p.m. officers located the suspect inside the store and contained him.
“The store has been fully evacuated and negotiators are on site trying to make contact.”
The department said officers were at Home Goods on North Point Parkway after receiving reports of a person with a gun hiding in the store.
“All affected businesses have been evacuated. There are no reports of gunfire,” police added in their statement.
“A media staging area was set up at Hyatt Place at North Point Pkwy.”
As the incident unfolded, Channel 2 Action News’ helicopter saw several police vehicles at the scene, according to WSB-TV.
Michael Seiden from WSB-TV reported at 12:44 p.m.: “For the last 15 minutes we have observed members of the SWAT team coming and going at REI & HomeGoods.”
Two minutes later, WSB-TV said police confirmed all HomeGoods employees were safely evacuated.
Police said officers negotiated at the scene as they are “always looking for a peaceful solution”.
The suspect was arrested at 1:28 p.m., police said on Twitter.
Police said the man, who has not yet been identified, was taken from the building in handcuffs.
The man in question, who police said allegedly drew a gun and made threats, was seen walking out wearing a face mask, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
According to the AJC, Lt. Alpharetta Police Department Andrew Splawn said the incident was not a hostage situation.
He said: “There were people barricading themselves for security, but when cops swept and searched the building we were able to get everyone out safely.”
Speaking to a Home Goods worker outside, the news outlet learned that an angry worker “armed with a gun” came into the store when her manager told her to “run.”
The employee knew something was wrong when her manager “came out of the office and told us all to run.”
“The store was open, there were customers in the store and we ran,” the woman explained.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5559991/alpharetta-georgia-mall-evacuated-active-shooter/ Alpharetta, Georgia, mall evacuated after ‘active gunman’ reported at home goods store where man barricaded himself