Smash-and-grab at Southland Center causes panic: Here's what happened

'It was like a stampede,' one shopper said

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly

TAYLOR, Mich. - A routine holiday shopping trip turned to chaos as shoppers went into a panic at Southland Center mall after they heard what they thought was gunfire Sunday.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police investigating smash-and-grab at Southland Center originally thought to be shooting

Police said no shots were fired, but those inside the mall mistook the sound of breaking glass for gunfire. 

"Everybody took off running," said one witness. "It was like a stampede."

People were running and screaming. 

"I came out of the store and I just see everybody running," said another witness. "They almost knocked me over."

A thief smashed display cases at J.B. Robinson Jewels. The sound of glass shattering sounded like gunfire, causing shoppers to run for safety.

Taylor police officials were informed of a shooting, and almost every available police cruiser was rerouted to the packed mall.

As customers fled, employees stayed behind, making sure the stores were closed down correctly.

Authorities are still working to determine how much was taken.

No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

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