Montreal Canada May 16 2017 A jewelry robbery at The Bay in Fairview mall in Pointe-Claire on Sunday sent shoppers into a panic and caused stores to lock down after the sound of glass being smashed led some bystanders to believe there was a shooting.
The noise was, in fact, the sound of display windows being broken by two masked suspects who entered the store, police spokesperson Raphaël Bergeron said on Sunday evening after initially reporting that Montreal police were evacuating the mall.
In fact, the police never evacuated the mall, he said later.
And the initial reports from bystanders that they heard gunshots were unfounded, Bergeron added. No guns were used in the robbery, he said.
The suspects, who have not been caught, fled on foot through the east side of the mall’s parking lot, Bergeron said.
Police were going to view surveillance video to help in the investigation, he said.
Deborah Sparks said she and her son were in a store on the second floor of the mall when a woman ran in with her child saying that there had been a shooting.
“People were running all over the place,” Sparks said. “So we went to the back of the store we were in and security called 911.”
About 20 people were at the back of the store with her, she said, while mall security guards went around locking the doors of shops.
“I was really impressed with the security because they shut the doors and had us in lock down pretty quickly,” Sparks said. “And security came back really quickly and said the coast was clear. That was comforting.”
Sparks said she practiced yoga breathing to remain calm while standing at the back of the store. “People were quite panicked,” she said.
Montreal police chief Philippe Pichet posted on Twitter about the robbery.