Watch CBS News

Man Arrested After Allegedly Threatening Mass Shooting At South Hills Village

By: KDKA-TV's Amy Wadas and Pam Surano

BETHEL PARK, Pa. (KDKA) - Police were called to the South Hills Village after a man with a duffle bag allegedly told an employee there was going to be a mass shooting.

The call came in shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday. Police convened on the scene and searched the inside of the mall while some stores told people to shelter in place.

south hills village mall shooting threat
(Photo: KDKA Photojournalist Aaron Sledge)

Video on social media showed a heavily armed police presence inside. At least a half dozen were stationed inside and patrolling.

The Bethel Park police chief said the man was in Macy's at one point, then walked across the parking lot from Macy's past the food court. They lost sight of him until he was found behind the liquor store at Village Square Mall.

south hills village mall shooting threat (1)
(Photo: KDKA Viewer)

The man, identified as 51-year-old Lance Crowley, was arrested. The chief says he didn't have any weapons on him.

lance crowley
(Photo: Bethel Park Police/Facebook)

While police believed he was inside Macy's, the store was put on lockdown. A witness was shopping there when she realized something was going on. Her aunt works at the store, so she pulled her to safety.

"We ran into the storage room. Next thing I know, probably 10 minutes later we get an intercom from Macy's: 'It's a situation, please shelter in place at this time.' I went on Twitter seeing if anybody said anything, I was listening to a police scanner," said Candace Martino.

Martino said she was shaken up after the incident.

The shelter-in-place has been lifted, the mall is back open to normal operations. No one was injured.

WATCH: Pam Surano Reports

A security expert KDKA's Pam Surano spoke with provided valuable tips for venues and visitors, as these types of incidents happen more often.

Terrence Brown, the owner and founder of Safety Security Consultants, said the most important thing anyone can do is know your safe spots and exits. He said staff training and having a plan in place is crucial but added there is new technology that can assist.

"A mass notification system and indoor gunshot detection, which is really popular now," Brown said.

Crowley is charged with felony terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

KDKA reached out to Simon Property Group, which owns the mall, and we are still waiting to hear back from them about the incident.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.