Miami Active Shooter Hoax Caused Panic and Massive Police Response
It was a sobering event for shoppers on Saturday evening at the Dolphin Mall in Miami, Florida. Gunfire was reportedly heard and 9-1-1 calls were made claiming an active shooter was making his way through the property, firing a rifle at shoppers.
The calls prompted police and fire personnel to swarm the property with lights and sirens. Officers evacuated the building at gunpoint, instructing patrons to exit with their hands in the air.
There was just one problem — the reports were all completely false. There was no gunman and not a single shot had been fired.
From the Miami Herald:
The incident paints an interesting picture of how the public at large responds to threats of violence. It demonstrates just how helpless the average person is — terrified and unable nor willing to do anything about it.
Had this been a real active shooter event, there would've almost certainly been casualties as the gunman made his way through the target-rich environment, confident that the only people that could stop him would arrive in seconds at best and minutes at worst.
Instead, the Herald demeans a comment suggesting citizens get armed for their protection (albeit with colorful language) as "[threatening] to escalate."
Situations like the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting demonstrate the vulnerability of an unarmed populace, overly reliant on police and unable to effectively respond to active threats.
It's interesting to note that Florida is a shall-issue state, that is, any person that can legally own a firearm must be issued a concealed-carry permit if he or she were to apply for one. Sadly, not everyone sees the need until it's too late. Will this incident be treated as a lesson learned?
Stay alert. Stay alive.