On Saturday, March 9, Tukwila Police posted on its Facebook they were dealing with a “large juvenile problem” at the Southcenter mall.
The post goes on to say, “A large group fled out the doors all at the same time causing alarm to passerby’s and employees. The group has dispersed.”
In a later post by the department Tuesday morning, this group was fleeing the mall because of a post made by an Instagram user named “deshefrost.” The Instagram post read “Seattle! Meet me tomorrow at SOUTHCENTER mall at 5pm! Let’s get kicked out! ❄️.”
The post was removed from the Instagram account on Saturday evening, the police department’s post continued.
Tukwila police posted this was not worded in a way that invited participants for a simple meet and greet, which is what it was claimed to be by the account user.
“It was worded in a way that invited participants to engage in behavior that would attract negative attention to themselves, which would result in their removal from the mall,” the department’s Facebook post said. “In this particular incident, a crowd of upwards of 500 juveniles began to meet in the food court just before 5 p.m.”
The post said the juveniles began running through the mall from the food court to the west parking lot, which created an unsafe environment for everyone else present at the mall.
The police received multiple reports from bystanders and mall employees that several of the juveniles in the group were yelling “shooter, active shooter,” loudly as they ran.
The Facebook post ended with, “We are not taking this incident lightly. Our Major Crimes Unit (MCU) is investigating the case and there is potential that criminal charges may be filed based on the findings of the investigation.”
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.