A male who allegedly took to social media and streamed about "shooting up" a mall was taken into custody Wednesday at Westfield Valley Fair mall in San Jose, police said.
The male suspect had a firearm with him when he was taken into custody, police said.
Police said they learned about the incident around 4 p.m. They tracked the suspect's location and determined that he was at Valley Fair.
"Within 45 minutes of the call the suspect was located and taken into custody before he could inflict harm on innocent shoppers," police said on Twitter.
After his arrest, members of the bomb squad carefully searched a car at the mall that they believe belongs to the man. They used a robot to help them search inside with cameras before bomb technicians in specialized suits carefully looked inside.
Police were first called out to the mall by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department. They were tipped off by residents who were watching the man livestreaming the threats from inside the mall.
“Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office contacted our department and alerted us that a subject was livestreaming on Snapchat, making claims that he wanted to ‘shoot up the mall,’” said Steve Aponte of the San Jose Police Department.
The man they took into custody fit a pretty specific description.
“He was an adult male with dark clothing and was wearing shoulder-length hair, purple in color, obviously a very distinctive description,” said Aponte.
As officers first arrived, they quietly cordoned off an area inside the mall where they made the arrest. They also kept people away from the car outside that they would later search.
“People were walking by, but there was an area we couldn’t go through,” said shopper Samichha Mali. “And this area was closed, we couldn’t get out from here.”