Seminole County leaders plan active shooter drill following weekend panic at Florida Mall, Citywalk

·2 min read

We now know what led to the panic and chaos at The Florida Mall Saturday afternoon.

Cellphone video captured people running from what they thought was gunfire.

Detectives said it was all just a misunderstanding, that started with a slip and fall.

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Officials said the chaos likely stemmed from a man falling inside The Crayola Experience and then making a statement about getting a gun when others tried to help him.

Later Saturday night people on social media said there was panic at Universal Citywalk.

Rumors spread that there was an active shooter at Citywalk, but Orlando police said it was a fight between juveniles in a parking garage.

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County leaders in Seminole County are now taking steps to plan for things like active shooting calls when they are real.

Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said it’s important to have a plan and don’t panic but you may need to determine at some point if you will run, hide or fight.

“So, there’s been obviously a heightened sense of awareness for active shooter events. With the event, of course, that happened in Illinois, the elementary school in Texas, and then, of course, the events here locally that we’re all just scared,” Harris said.

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Harris said because of those incidents, the county wants people to be prepared. This Thursday the county will hold an active shooter workshop at Northland Church in Longwood.

“The majority of our faith organizations, nonprofit organizations and business organizations have emergency plans, but they may not be as robust as they need to be. And training is needed as well, as well as education,” Harris added.

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said it’s important for people to be aware of their surroundings and have a plan.

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“If you go visit someplace, think about what you would do if a situation did come up. But don’t panic, don’t panic. And it’s easier said than done. When someone is experiencing that situation, right? The way that some of us here may react to that situation may be much different than the average citizen,” Rolon said.

Rolon said they need to hold people responsible for creating these panics, whether they are shooting off fireworks or doing something purposely to put people into panic mode.

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