Police: Mall Lockdown Prompted By Rolled-Up Apron Mistaken For Gun

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A local mall went on lockdown after local authorities received reports of a gunman wandering about the premises.

Upon investigating the matter, deputies with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office found that the “gunman” was actually a waiter who had been carrying a rolled-up apron.

On Tuesday morning around 11 a.m., the first call came in regarding a man carrying a gun near the J.C. Penney’s located in the Port Charlotte Town Centre Mall.

As a precaution, the mall was placed on a lockdown so that deputies could look into the situation further.

Several nearby schools were also placed on lockdown, according to WBBH-TV.

After an hour, police had not found a perpetrator matching the description given by witnesses. Lockdowns on the nearby schools and the mall itself were subsequently lifted, though deputies continued to investigate.

Ultimately, it was discovered that the person in question was a waiter who worked at a nearby restaurant, the station learned. He had rolled his apron before placing it under his arm, leading some to mistakenly think he was carrying a firearm.

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