Police: Hulen Mall brawl likely organized on social media

Police believe a brawl at Hulen Mall on Monday evening was organized through social media and think it's probably linked to similar fights in other states Monday.

On Tuesday the mall was open again with increased security from Fort Worth police.

Police said about 150 people, mostly teenagers, were involved in the fighting. Police didn't take anyone into custody, but two people did get citations for disorderly conduct and fighting.

Cell phone videos of the fighting at Hulen Mall show the panic and pandemonium. The first calls for help reported gunfire, but police said they found no evidence shots were fired. The mall was put on lockdown Monday night after the fight, a logistical challenge for police moving everyone outside.

There was strong reaction from shoppers about the brawl on Monday and a strong belief by police that social media fueled the fighting.

“One of the students did tell the officers that it was social media driven,” said FWPD Ofc. Tamara Valle.

Carolina Ortiz, a teen shopper at the mall on Tuesday, said the actions of other people her age were unacceptable.

"I think it's dumb, like come on -- if you going to the mall behave. If your mom didn't show you respect that's on you, but think at least behave out in public,” Ortiz said.

Similar fights happened around the same time in malls in a dozen other states including Connecticut and Colorado. Fort Worth police are investigating if the fight at Hulen Mall was timed with those disturbances.

Jake Colston said safety and shopping should go hand in hand.

“This is our local economy there is no reason why we shouldn't be trying to support any of the shops here, but we need to be kept safe same time doing that,” Colston said.

Hulen Mall has its own security that is being given credit for making a quick response last night during the brawl. Police said mall security noticed a large number of young people arriving at the mall sometime before the fight.

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