APD searches Barton Creek Mall

APD searches Barton Creek Mall

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Barton Creek Mall stores closed temporarily Tuesday after a report of gunmen running inside.

Police gave the all clear within an hour but there were some tense moments for shoppers and employees.

Austin police got a 9-1-1 call from a Nordstrom employee this morning at 11:30 a.m. stating a woman called the store to report seeing several armed men entering.

Dozens of officers responded within one minute. They searched the mall and did not locate a threat. No weapons were found.

Several businesses did close temporarily.

Police gave the all clear an hour later at 12:30 p.m.

During that time nearby Eanes ISD schools including Cedar Creek Elementary, Hill Country Middle school, Westlake High and the Adult Transition Services building were put on lock down.

 FOX 7 spoke to a mall employee who was inside the mall when all of this was going on.

"I just thought it was really creepy. It reminded me of what happened in Connecticut recently. I just thought that it was, the mall was a big place and a lot of people were here. I didn't want to go out in front because I didn't know the person was out there and walking around. There was a lot of confusion in the air," said mall employee, Johari Clark.

"I'm not worried. If something happens, something happens. I think you can't be scared to live life," said mall customer Austin Ochoa.

Officers say they are on a heightened since of awareness right now and they do want people to continue calling if they see anything suspicious.

"We are always ready to respond to these incidents we have officers throughout the department that are specially trained to respond to these incidents that are always on the street. So anytime we get a call like this we have to take it serious and respond with the appropriate resources," said Lt. Ely Reyes.

Barton Creek Mall released the following statement:

"The Austin Police Department was contacted immediately to investigate a suspicious call. APD has advised that no threat was found and has given the all clear. Safety, security and comfort for shoppers is our highest priority at Barton Creek Square. As always, we encourage shoppers to be alert to what is happening around them, and to immediately report suspicious activity to mall security or a store employee. We are grateful for the Austin Police Department's immediate and thorough response."

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