From News 6 Orlando:
Four people were hurt and The Florida Mall in Orlando was evacuated Thursday when popping balloons were mistaken for gunshots in an active shooter situation, according to deputies.
Mall officials told News 6 that the scare happened as crews were setting up for the grand opening of former *NSYNC star Joey Fatone’s new restaurant, Fat One’s. Deputies said as part of the inspection for the grand opening, the balloon test was scheduled to be completed through a contracted vendor as part of an industry standard.
“An announcement was made on the PA system informing shoppers and employees the test would be conducted,” deputies said in an email to News 6. “The test consisted of six large balloons popping consecutively, followed by a fire alarm. This caused people to go into panic mode and run.”
The latest reports say that ten were injured.
I want to know what kind of test that was.
Also, no one saw anyone with a gun because there was no gun. No one saw anyone get shot because no one got shot. There was no hostage situation. No one was yelling anything that may have made someone think there was a terrorist on the loose. Nothing. Why would there be a mad panic? Don’t get me wrong, I understand someone being startled from a loud pop. And I can understand someone mistaking a loud pop for a gun shot. But once you look around and realize that there isn’t a shooter and that no one is brandishing a firearm and that no one is injured, why panic? The whole thing seems strange to me.
In any case, this is where we are now. Americans are on edge. Part of this fear is legitimate and part of it is manufactured.