Lockdown lifted at Westfield-Meriden Mall, no active shooter despite reports

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Mall employees were asked to lock store doors and stay inside until further notice. (Fox 61)

Mall employees were asked to lock store doors and stay inside until further notice. (Fox 61)

MERIDEN, Conn. — A Connecticut mall was on lockdown Thursday night for several hours after shoppers reported hearing gunshots.

The mall has been cleared and there were no shots fired, Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati told FOX 61 at 10:15 p.m.

More than a dozen police calls were on the scene after initial reports of a man armed with a gun inside around 8:30 p.m. Officers combed through the mall searching for a possible shooter.

However, State Police Information Officer Kelly Grant said minutes later: "As of right now 'shots fired/active shooter' is unfounded." Meriden Police also confirm no one was shot.

Store employees told CNN they were given instructions to lock the doors and stay inside the stores until further notice.

Vilma Vasquez, the store manager of Express at the mall, told CNN that she didn't hear gunshots but did see shoppers running and screaming about a shooter.

The mall closed at 9 p.m. and employee Mindy Michaud said it was a pretty busy evening.

Connecticut State police wrote on Twitter at 9:21 p.m. that there was no active shooter at the time and the reports were unfounded.

The reports come just four days after the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead.

Meriden is located halfway between New Haven and Hartford. The mall has more than 140 shops and is anchored by Sears, Macy's and Boscov's.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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