Joplin police cleared Northpark Mall this morning of any threat to public safety after receiving an apparently false report of an active shooter at the location.
Capt. Will Davis of the Joplin Police Department said officers responding to the call at 10:15 a.m. entered the mall in an effort to determine if the report was valid. He said no active shooter was found, nor was any evidence turned up that any shooting had taken place.
Davis said Northpark Mall security initiated lockdown procedures prior to the arrival of police. The police sweep of the mall was completed and the lockdown lifted around 11:30 a.m.
Davis said police are investigating the origins of the report, which came in the form of a phone call claiming that mall employees were "sheltering in place" due to the presence of an active shooter. He said he did not know if the call was anonymous or if the caller had provided their name.
Police did not call out a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team during the incident. But Davis estimated that somewhere between 10 and 20 officers were involved in the response to the call.
"We train our officers to respond to these active-threat events. We can't sit and wait for a SWAT team to respond on the scene, so we train our officers in the tactics and training methods that SWAT uses so they can respond and handle the event should it be ongoing," Davis said during a briefing with news media at the scene.