Improvised explosive devices erupted at mall entrance. People at the Eagle Ridge Mall, Lake Wales in Florida were quickly evacuated when entrance portion of the mall got blew up by the improvised explosive device (IED). The incident was occurred at around 5:30 pm EST.
Lake Wales Fire Department managed the critical situation at the mall, when shoppers triggered the alarms after they saw smoke coming out of the corridor next to the entrance of the mall nearby the J C Penney store.
The police force and many emergency services from the countries at neighborhood including Office Bomb Squad of Hillsborough Sheriff rushed to the incident. Troy Schulze, police Deputy Chief at Lake Wales provided all the details about how the incident was occurred. He also told that a bag containing such exploding devices as also been found at the Eagle Ridge Mall.
Schulze stated to the reports that, “The authorities found backpack or book bag that contained five or six other IEDs that were not detonated. We had guys go in and do a cursory search to make sure there wasn’t anything else suspicious or out of place. It’s very concerning to us. We’re a family-oriented community. This is a family-oriented mall. When this started, my son was actually working here at this mall.”
At the time when the incident was occurred, there were 100 people estimated in the mall. A witness reported to detectives that they did see a middle aged man wearing gray shirt and hat, running away from the location right before the explosion.
Schulze added that, “People here shopping, just enjoying a Sunday afternoon or evening with their families, and literally ‘boom’. We’re definitely not calling it terrorism at this time, but it’s up to the FBI, which has been notified.”