POTOMAC, Va. (WUSA9) -- Terrifying moments for many people inside the Dulles Town Center Saturday afternoon. The entire mall was on lockdown after Loudoun County Sheriff's Deputies say they received a report of a shooting around 1:45.
"Your mind jumps to worst case scenarios like this," Alex Ruffing says, who works at a store inside the mall. With the shooting at Columbia Mall in the back of many people's minds, Dulles Town Center went on lockdown after a report of a shooting. "I was in the back doing shipment and was done with my shift headed out, I saw police officers with rifles running around," Frankie Komar remembers, an employee in the mall.
Stores were shut down, employees and customers ushered into back rooms to hide. "I was really scared, nothing like this has happened to be before, I was crying," Komar remembers. "I pretty much copied the store across from me and shut down my gate and hid in the back of the store," Ruffing says.
Rumors were flying, as Loudoun County Sheriff's deputies tried to figure out exactly what happened. "It was actually a threat, it sounded like it initiated between two patrons in the mall," Ruffing says. "Apparently there was a person with a gun," remembers Matt Howard, another store employee.
In the end, deputies found nothing; no shooter, no victims and no gun. The initial call came from a person who overheard two women talking about a possible shooting, saying they had to leave.
"Then they heard maybe there wasn't a shooter, someone with a gun," Rosemary Good remembers, who was shopping at the time. "But in this day and age you have to be safe rather than sorry. They did the right thing."
"I'd rather go through all of this than have someone be carried out of here in an ambulance," Ruffing agrees.
The mall was reopened around 3:30 p.m., although some stores remained closed for the rest of the day.