Man carrying umbrella triggers Va. mall manhunt

"It definitely was an assault rifle," the guard said. Dozens swarmed and evacuated the mall during a failed 10-hour search


By Amanda Codispoti
The Roanoke Times

ROANOKE, Va. — Both 911 calls reporting a man with a rifle at Valley View Mall in Roanoke were from security officers at the retail complex — one relaying a secondhand report, the other watching a 40-minute-old surveillance video, according to emergency call recordings. The first call, from a mall guard at 5:05 p.m. Monday, reported that another mall worker had seen a man with "a big assault rifle."

The second call, at 5:37 p.m., was from a Macy's loss prevention detective, who breathlessly told a police dispatcher, "It definitely was an assault rifle." The calls sent dozens of city and state police swarming the mall and prompted an evacuation and a failed 10-hour search of the region's largest shopping complex.

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