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Masked Man Causes Panic At Houston Mall After Saying He Would Kill Himself, Throwing Object On Ground

HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Hundreds of people rushed out of a Houston mall on Sunday after a masked man jumped on a food court table and said he would kill himself before throwing down an unknown object covered in toilet paper.

Houston police are searching for the masked man, who they say left Memorial City Mall amid the chaos. Police said he could face a terroristic threats charge.

Authorities told Houston media outlets that the suspect could be seen on surveillance video going into the food court area of the mall just before 3:15 p.m., jumping on a table and saying he was going to kill himself. He then threw the unknown object onto the ground.

Panic ensued as shoppers rushed to the exits. Videos circulated throughout social media that showed people running through the mall.

Initial reports from inside the mall at the time of the incident claimed there was active shooter, but police quickly said there was no shooter. There were also initial reports that there were firecrackers set off inside the mall, but police later said that didn't happen.

"We don't take this type of thing lightly," Police Assistant Chief Sheryl Victorian said.

Police said two people at the Houston mall suffered minor injuries in the crowd.

The incident comes after a shooter killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso on Aug. 3, which was followed hours later by a shooter opening fire at a Dayton, Ohio entertainment district, killing nine.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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