Update: According to police, South Windsor officers responded to assist Manchester along with numerous other towns and State Police.
Once the mall was evacuated, large groups moved to surrounding businesses.
Police say they were advised that a group was causing disturbances inside Walmart and that another group was heading to Target. South Windsor officers met with Target management and the building was secured for safety. The store reopened a short time later once crowds dispersed.
Original story: Crowds of people sprinting to safety Wednesday night at the Buckland Hills Mall.
“My coworker screaming everyone get out, get out of the store”, said Kevin Basalla, an Eblens employee.
Several – massive fights erupting inside the mall – packed with post holiday shoppers. Police rushing in droves to tame the rowdy crowds.
“200 people involved in various fights across the mall”, said Lt. Ryan Shea of the Manchester Police Department.
“I can’t even tell you how many people because there were just so many of them”, Basalla added.
Police from surrounding towns pouring into the Buckland Hills parking lot.
“Due to the large number of people involved, we asked for mutual aid to respond from Glastonbury Vernon, and East Hartford”, Lt. Shea said.
Witnesses inside the mall say once everyone was evacuated, the fights didn’t stop. They continued at a nearby Walmart.
“It seems like what happen is once the groups were dispersed, they would gather up at other locations, we did everything we can can to control the inside of the mall…as well”, Lt. Shea added.
After a sweep of the mall – police making four arrests – three adults and one juvenile for their roles in the frightening ordeal.
Police detained three adult females involved in the initial fight, identified as 19 year old Dynastee McCoy out of Wetherfield, 18 year-old Inaeja Williams from Hartford and 18 year old Naejza Bates from New Britain.
All three were arrested and charged with Breach of Peace in the 2nd Degree, Interfering with Officers, and Inciting a Riot in the 2nd Degree.
Additionally, a 17 year old male, who refused to disperse the area, was arrested. A .22 cal Taurus 228 handgun was discovered on his person during his arrest. He was additionally charged with Criminal Trespass in the 1st Degree and Carrying a Pistol without a Permit.
Police estimate that 200 to 300 people, most appearing to be juveniles, were involved. Mutual aid was requested from surrounding towns and officers from surrounding agencies responded to the mall area.
“Obviously, an investigation into how this happened will take place”, Lt. Shea said.
Amy Hudak tells us more about the chaos that erupted at the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester Wednesday night:
WEB EXTRA: Video shows the chaos inside of the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester
WEB EXTRA: Cell phone video captures outside scene at Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester
This is a developing story. News 8 will bring you any updates as they become available.