The time I got locked in Anthropologie...

Last night, an evening of Christmas shopping turned from typical to primetime t.v. plot. I arrived at the mall, it being my payday, to do some much anticipated Christmas shopping for oh, pretty much EVERYONE on my list. No stress there right? ;-)

When I arrived at 7:45, I was pleasantly surprised to see the holiday hours sign stating I had until 11pm to shop, vs. the usual 9pm. SWEET! I thought- let's DO this!

I went to Children's Place, and purchased a gift for a little birthday girl, who's party we're attending today, then headed to a couple of stores in the main part of the mall- but didn't have much luck.

Then, I decided to exit the main part of the mall via the main entrance to go to Anthropologie and see if I couldn't find something neat for the ladies in the fam. As I went out the main doors, a mall security officer insisted I walk through a particular door, which I thought was rather odd. But being a strict rule follower (to a fault at times, it's just put of my whole type A personality I guess) I obeyed and walked to Anthropologie. I noticed there were people crowded outside of the mall doors that were not walking in, but I didn't know why. I then remembered having seen one store in the mall pull there big mesh screen down to close there store and some people arguing with them about it- I assumed that manager just didn't realize they were supposed to be open so late.

When I arrived at Anthropologie, I was let in the locked store door by one of the employees, who greeted me, then re-locked the door. At this point- things seemed very strange. I asked the employee what was going on, and discovered that "There were three gunmen somewhere in the mall." Say WHAT?!

So essentially, I was on lock down in Anthropologie. Now, if I had to be locked in ANY store on the planet- let me tell you- Anthropologie would be my pick- so I was feeling pretty happy about that! Shortly after I came into the store- they stopped allowing others in. They would let people out, if they decided to leave, but several of us decided not to leave until things got cleared up (as did I- and because my mom was watching the news and begging me not to. She was also begging me to lie down on the floor and stay in a dressing room- sorry mom, but that was a little beyond necessary- but I DID stay in the store ;-)). So, I spent two hours SLOOOOOOWLY perusing Anthropologie (especially the non-windowed sale room in the back of the store) and actually managed to find several gifts (and maybe a few treasures for myself- my bad!).

Throughout the time I was there, people slowly got confident and left (despite announcements that only 1 of 3 gunmen were caught and there were still multiple cop cars in front of the store with lights swirling) and I became the last customer in the store. The store manager was very nice and told me to take my time trying things on, and that when I was ready, we'd all head out, she'd close the store for the night (it was only about 10pm) and her husband would drive me to my car.

Normally, I wouldn't accept a ride from someone I didn't know- but under the circumstances- my gut said it was ok. And, it was. I was driven safely to my car and headed home.

It was very strange because for the vast majority of the time, I felt pretty calm and almost emotionally unaffected- but then, when I walked out Anthro's doors, I suddenly got kind of shakey. I felt vulnerable out of the safety of the locked store I guess. My fear was the gunmen would be made my the cops, go running, run out of the mall, by Anthro and shoot or grab me as a hostage. I know, pretty dramatic right? But Anthro felt safe, and outside the mall did not. (The multitude of helicopters shining their lights all over the mall didn't help me feel safer either, lol.

I felt shakey for a few hours at home too, but then the whole story actually came to press. And at that point- it all just felt pretty over dramatized.

Three teenagers had robbed another teenager at the skate park next to the mall, with a shot gun. They then ran to the mall, stashed the shotgun under a vehicle, and hid in Macy's for Women. They caught the one who'd had the gun first, eventually caught the second kid involved, and never caught the third. (I'm sure they will though, having the other two). So, the REAL story is a whole lot less scary than three gunmen roving the mall!

All in all, I'm very glad everyone was safe, no one was hurt, and to be honest, that I got to be locking in Antropologie and have the store virtually to myself for two hours. It could have been way worse ;-)

Link to the news story: http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/1754517.html

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