The Killeen Mall was quiet — relatively speaking — Sunday afternoon in the wake of a fight that broke out Saturday night in the mall’s food court.
More than 30 juveniles and young adults were reportedly involved in the fight, but no serious injuries and no property damage had been reported as of Sunday afternoon.
The Killeen Mall operated on normal Sunday hours, which are from noon until 6 p.m., and police and security officers said everything was proceeding like a normal day. According to KPD officers present at the mall, there was one extra police officer on duty at the mall, and the security officers were working a normal shift.
A news release said the fight quickly broke up when police started arriving after the initial call was made.
“Multiple on-duty units responded to the scene to assist and restore order,” Killeen Police Department Cmdr. Alex Gearhart said in the release. “As officers began arriving, the crowd dispersed, but multiple smaller groups continued fighting inside and outside of the mall building.”
The release went on to say that initial reports of the incident claimed shots had been fired inside the mall, but responding officers were unable to find any evidence of gunshots. Because of the reports of shots fired, first responders performed a sweep of the entire mall to search for armed suspects or potential victims. None were found.
According to the report, some of the officers who initially responded to the scene were able to identify some of the instigators of the fight. Some of the individuals were then located and detained by police as they attempted to leave the mall.
When officers searched one of the vehicles that was stopped, police found two handguns, one of which was reported stolen in Austin. Police found no evidence any weapons were used inside the mall, according to the release.
Eight arrests were made in connection with the fight, according to the report. Seven of the people arrested were men, and one woman was arrested. All eight suspects were charged with rioting, while the woman also was charged with unlawful carry of a weapon.
The mall was back to business as usual Sunday, with most people unaware that an incident had occurred.
Employees with VKs/DVA Talent Model Search — which was holding a free talent show on the opposite end of the mall — said some people in the crowd Saturday night commented about an incident happening in the food court, but no one knew it was a fight until they had gone home for the night.
“Today is just a normal day here at the mall,” said an employee with Allied Universal, the company that provides security for the mall. “Whatever happened, happened and now it’s over, and now we are back to normal.”