Regent Mall worker says weapons incident was 'pretty scary'

·2 min read
Fredericton Police armed with long guns are shown outside an entrance to the Regent Mall on Saturday. (Gary Moore/CBC - image credit)
Fredericton Police armed with long guns are shown outside an entrance to the Regent Mall on Saturday. (Gary Moore/CBC - image credit)

It was a long few hours for one Toys "R" Us employee as she and her co-workers were forced to wait out a weapons incident in the Regent Mall in Fredericton on Saturday afternoon.

"That was pretty scary," said Brianna Parker-Tarasco.

The mall was evacuated around 4 p.m. after Fredericton Police received a call about a weapons incident.

Parker-Tarasco said a warning to evacuate was read over the mall's loudspeakers.

But those speakers aren't located in individual stores.

Many customers in the Toys "R" Us couldn't hear the message. Workers had to walk through the story relaying what was said.

Stuck

They were able to get all the customers out in time, but the workers weren't as lucky.

"We got the customers out first and then were preparing to leave ourselves, and then we all kind of got stuck there," said Parker-Tarasco.

Police told the workers they would have to shelter in place.

While some managers stayed in a locked office in the front of the store to await instructions from police, the remaining eight workers moved to the break room in the back of the store.

Submitted by Brianna Parker-Taraceo
Submitted by Brianna Parker-Taraceo

Parker-Tarasco said it was "kind of nerve-racking" because the situation was uncertain.

Since co-workers were gathered together, Parker-Tarasco they were able to maintain a certain level of calm.

They had cell phones so they were able to communicate with the outside world and follow the information being released by police.

Parker-Tarasco said that at one point the group could hear a commotion, but couldn't tell what the noises were, except to say they were loud.

Aftermath

After about three hours in lockdown, the group was finally released. After giving any information they had to police, they could go home.

Parker-Tarasco said she she a bit shaken but otherwise OK after the incident.

She said overall she's happy with the way the police handled the incident, but would have appreciated a little more information.

"I understand [not] wanting people to … panic or spreading misinformation," said Parker-Tarasco.

"But at the same time when you're stuck in an area where something's going on and you have no idea [of] the level of what could be going on … it's kind of pretty scary to be there for so long."

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