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Ventura County Sheriff: Face Mask Confrontation Caused Melee At Thousand Oaks Mall

THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — A confrontation with someone not wearing a face mask led to a fight inside the The Oaks shopping mall in Thousand Oaks, along with reports of an active shooter and a major response from local police.

Deputies were called the mall, 222 W. Hillcrest Drive, at about 6:40 p.m. Saturday after callers to 911 reported shots fired and seeing a man pointing a gun inside the mall, according to Ventura County sheriff's officials.

The reports of shots fired turned out to be false. Other callers reported as many as five people fighting, and that an off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy pulled his concealed handgun to stop the fight.

The chaotic scene apparently started with two men confronting a third because he was not wearing a face mask inside the mall.

"As the melee became increasingly violent, the off-duty law enforcement officer identified himself and confronted the man with his handgun to stop the fight," according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

The melee drew 16 sheriff's patrol units to the mall. Shoppers took to social media to describe the chaotic and frightening scene.

Authorities say none of the people involved in the fight wanted to pursue criminal charges. Only minor injuries were reported, and no shots were fired.

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