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Shoppers uneasy despite active shooter in South Hills Village Mall unfounded

BETHEL PARK, Pa. — Several police agencies responded to South Hills Village Mall Wednesday afternoon after reports of an active shooter.

Bethel Park Police say that they have checked the mall extensively and nothing has been found.

Police have determined the report to be unfounded.

Channel 11 spoke with several stores in the mall that were on lockdown during the incident.

Police say a shopper called 911 saying a man had a gun on his hip and it wasn’t concealed.

Some store employees tell Channel 11 were told through their headsets to say calm and police were coming to do a sweep of every store to make sure nobody was in danger.

The mall was cleared by police after the extensive sweep and surrounding stores and restaurants reopened their doors.

Shoppers say it’s just the latest scare in a series of troubling incidents at the mall.

“I feel a little unsettled because we knew we had to come in this direction,” Cindy Reyes tells Channel 11. “We had thought about having dinner here - then we were not sure after we heard that.”

Johnathon Torres says he feels a little concerned, adding: “Even my friend - her mom said she’s not allowed to go into the mall by herself anymore.”

Reyes adds she doesn’t have another mall nearby, saying, “this is our mall so it’s kind of like our options are limited,” Reyes said.

Around 8AM Thursday, at the Orangetheory Fitness on the mall’s property, six locked cars were broken in to and items were stolen. Police say the same thing happened hours earlier at the North Fayette Orangetheory. Upper St. Clair Police say a woman was arrested in Ohio Township in connection to these crimes and more arrests could be coming.

Wednesday’s incidents come after last week when Rodrick Hatten was charged with attempted carjacking at the mall. He’s also facing charges in 20 other states. Days after that, Steven Varkony was charged with assaulting a store employee after police say he spit on her and refused to leave the store after it closed.

Channel 11 reached out to the South Hills Village Mall this afternoon for a comment. We are still waiting to hear back.