It was a long couple of hours on Saturday afternoon for a Toys “R” Us worker as she and her colleagues were forced to wait out a weapons incident in the Regent Mall in Fredericton.
Brianna Parker-Tarasco said,
“That was pretty scary.”
The mall was emptied around 4 p.m. after Fredericton Police got a call about a weapons incident.
Parker-Tarasco stated an evacuation warning was read over the mall’s loudspeakers.
However, those speakers aren’t installed in individual stores.
The majority of customers in Toys “R” Us couldn’t hear the message; therefore, workers had to walk through the store repeating what was said.
They managed to evacuate all the customers in time, but the employees 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,” noted Parker-Tarasco.
Police informed the employees they would have to shelter in place.
Whilst some managers were in a locked office at the front of the store awaiting orders from police, the remaining eight employees went to the break room in the back of the store.
Parker-Tarasco claims it was “kind of nerve-racking” due to the situation’s uncertainty. Because co-workers were huddled together, Parker-Tarasco says they managed to maintain a certain level of calmness.
They had their phones so they could communicate with the outside world and catch up on information issued by police.
Parker-Tarasco claims at one point the group could hear some commotion; however, they couldn’t tell what the noises were, but they were loud.
The group was finally released after about three hours in lockdown. They gave any information they had to the police and went home.
Parker-Tarasco noted that she a bit shook, but she was OK after the incident.
She stated she’s generally happy with the way the police managed the situation but would have cherished a little more information.
“I understand [not] wanting people to … panic or spreading misinformation.”
“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.”