A loud noise at Las Vegas’ popular Fashion Show mall was mistaken Wednesday for gunfire. It led to panic among some shoppers and others in the Las Vegas Strip retail center.
Just four days earlier, visitors to the Strip fled after they too heard a loud noise from the MGM Grand initially thought to be gunfire. No gunfire was found in either incident.
In both instances, rumors quickly erupted on social media and by word of mouth of an active shooter. Fear led many to seek cover or to flee to safety.
The Fashion Show mall incident began after an alleged shoplifter swiped an item from a store at about 4 pm. The suspect later “damaged mall property,” police said.
Shoppers initially thought the noise from the damage resembled gunfire, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. The unnamed person who is suspected of the damage was apprehended near the mall.
Earlier, at about 10 pm on Saturday, a disgruntled man allegedly tossed rocks at glass doors at the MGM Grand’s valet area. Players and visitors at several casinos in the area believed it to be gunfire.
It led to panic. Video has surfaced showing some people running. Others crouched by gaming machines on a casino floor.
Within about a half hour, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers posted a social media message that there were no gunshots around the MGM Grand. Police also told people in person all was safe.
Alleged Rock Thrower Wants Respect
Cops arrested a man for the rock throwing. He was later identified as Bradley Thompson whose last known address was in Washington State.
It turns out he allegedly threw “medium-size rocks” at the glass doors, KLAS said. Police talked to him and casino security.
Earlier on Saturday, Thompson allegedly was trespassing at the casino. He returned and damaged the doors because he continued to feel “disrespected by security” guards at the MGM property, KLAS added.
Thompson allegedly cursed at and spit in the direction of security guards, and was described as being “extremely uncooperative,” KLAS said. He claims he was “tackled” by security guards when apprehended, KSNV, another local TV station, reported.
Claims He Swallowed Glass
He told cops he suffered cuts on his lip, a bloody nose, and pain when he swallowed broken glass, apparently when he was apprehended by the security guards.
The security guards placed him in a holding area. Metro police soon took custody of him. He was charged with destruction of property, police said.
He was spotted on surveillance video tossing the rocks, police said. Officers asked him if he damaged the glass doors. Thompson responded, “he did not want to talk about it,” KSNV reported, citing his statement in a police report.
Metro officers transported Thompson to University Medical Center to get evaluated by medical staff. He appeared in local court on Wednesday. His case was continued to Aug. 3.
The cost to fix the glass at the MGM was estimated to be $2,000, KSNV revealed.
The panic-fueled incidents come after there have been several mass shootings nationally. Las Vegas experienced its own historic deadly mass shooting on the Strip in 2017. A shooter fired upon concert goers at a music festival.
More recently, on May 14, the Lovers & Friends music festival, which took place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, was temporarily halted after fear broke out among thousands of attendees. An unfounded shooting rumor led to some fleeing audience members getting trampled.
The post Las Vegas Strip Sees More Public Panic After Another Unfounded Gunfire Noise appeared first on Casino.org.