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Burlington Mall, evacuating shoppers and calling in a SWAT team as worried workers locked themselves into stores. But it turned out that the man was only carrying an umbrella.
"The situation is cleared. There was no threat," State Police said in a statement.
Burlington Police Officer Jim Tigges said that at about 9:55 a.m. Burlington police received a call from mall security reporting that two employees had seen a man with a backpack and a short rifle walk into the building and go into the bathroom.
Police raced to the mall, blocking off the parking lot as four helicopters hovered in the sky. The North East Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT team, composed of officers from area communities, was summoned.
Tigges said that once police were inside the building, they were alerted that there was surveillance video of the suspect leaving the Sears store at the mall. Police showed the video to the two people who had spotted the man at the Nordstorm store. They confirmed it was the same person, and police were able to determine the object the man was carrying was an umbrella and not a rifle.
The two employees at the mall...more morons on the loose
Maybe the time has come for administering a Litmus test to all who must work with people.