Houston police released a surveillance photo Monday of a man wanted for questioning in connection to the mass panic that broke out at Memorial City Mall over the weekend.
Hundreds of people ran out the doors of Memorial City Mall Sunday afternoon after a man created complete chaos in the food court. Thankfully, it was not an active shooter situation, but it was still a terrifying experience for lots of people.
It was just after 3 p.m. when law enforcement responded to the call. It was called in by two off-duty Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies who were out in the parking lot working extra security jobs.
People ran up and got their attention, the off-duty deputies the saw the huge crowd of people running from the mall and called for more law enforcement.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Have you seen this person? He is wanted for questioning in the incident at Memorial City Mall Sunday afternoon. If you know who he is or his whereabouts, please contact <a href="https://twitter.com/CrimeStopHOU?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CrimeStopHOU</a> at 713-222-TIPS. You can remain anonymous. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hounews?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#hounews</a> <a href="https://t.co/K6INsjYB4J">pic.twitter.com/K6INsjYB4J</a></p>— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) <a href="https://twitter.com/houstonpolice/status/1161107059338817536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 13, 2019</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The Harris County Precinct Five Constable's Office says the suspect went up the escalators toward the movie theatre and a few minutes later, he is seen on camera going back down the escalators towards the food court. At that point, he was wearing a red mask covering half of his face. So far the suspect has only been described as a male in his late teens or early twenties.
“[The suspect] Came down to the food court and then at a slow trot went through the food court," Constable Ted Heap said. "About halfway into the food court, jumped up on a table and declared he was going to kill himself. Now, he had something in a bag at that point, he had thrown down the bag. Of course at this point, we had chaos. People started fleeing.”
There were some posts on Twitter about it being an active shooter situation and others about fireworks being set off in the mall. However, investigators said there was no active shooter or fireworks. As for what was in the bag that the suspect threw down, we know it wasn't any kind of explosive or gun or anything like that, but police haven't said exactly what it was.
Two people were injured, to be clear, not by the suspect, but as they were running from the mall. A 16-year-old boy somehow hurt his leg or ankle and his mom was stepped on while trying to help him. They were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
At this point, there’s no one in custody. Precinct 5 said investigators have clear video and photos of the suspect and hope to get information on him once they are able to release the pictures.
During the chaos at the mall lots of people left without their personal belongings. The mall is going to open at 10 a.m. Monday and people will be able to pick up those items.