MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) — There’s growing concern over how Mesquite police responded to reports of an active shooter at Town East Mall Saturday night.
The reports turned out to be false, but one store owner and his customers say they were victimized.
While several stores went into lock down, Travis Fields says he couldn’t.
“As I go to close the gate, Mesquite police pull up on us,” the Noah’s Cutz & Stylz owner said. “They said, ‘Everybody get down, get down.’ Guns pointing at us, ‘Get on the floor, get on the floor.’ I’m like, ‘For what?’”
Fields said they told him there were reports of an active shooter coming out of Noah’s Barbershop.
“I was like there’s not a shooter in here!” he said.
Fields said he told officers there was a fight outside their store involving a group of teens throwing chairs and trash cans and that he had tried to break it up before security arrived. He said he thought by telling police there was no shooter, he and his customers would be allowed to get off the ground.
“I was on that floor for about 30 to 45 minutes,” Fields said. “That was too long.”
Noah’s Cutz & Stylz Founder Noah Floyd said seeing his clients laying on the floor, afraid for their lives was detrimental.
Mesquite police have sent a statement to CBS 11:
“Officers commanded those within the area of the barbershop to lay on the ground for safety and to assess the immediate area. Despite the frustrations conveyed in the audio of the individual who captured the incident, the Mesquite Police Department’s response was to ensure the safety of all citizens inside the mall.”
Though Fields said he doesn’t know officers’ protocol, he’s confident in what he saw.
“I know how I felt and it didn’t feel good to be laying down on the ground with a rifle pointing at my face — thinking if one of these air machines was to go off and I made a certain move, that I might not be here tomorrow.”
Floyd and Fields are now consulting with their lawyers to figure out where to go from here.