Samurai in a Mall?
The man hasn’t been publicly identified, but he was described to police as a short white male, wearing a gray shirt carrying a “rifle.”
The Burlington Mall, located north of Boston, was evacuated and closed while SWAT teams swarmed the building.
However, a man who fit the description turned out to be an employee at a nearby hospital, who had stopped at the mall before work.
Mall workers said they feared a mass shooting when police told them to leave.
“Cops just came in and told us to evacuate the mall. There’s a guy with a gun,” said Jose Abdul, 26, manager of a Verizon store in the mall. “I couldn’t believe it. I just legged it out of there.”
The umbrellas are widely available on the Web, and sellers claim they don’t resemble guns, even when carried on a person’s shoulder.
“We live in a free country, and you can’t regulate everything, but common sense should tell you something that can easily be mistaken for a weapon shouldn’t be sold and people shouldn’t buy it,” said Burlington police Lt. Glen Mills.