VIDEO: US mall shut after 2000 involved in massive brawl
ABOUT 2,000 people became involved in a mass brawl in one of Kentucky's largest malls, forcing the entire mall and surrounding businesses to shut down, police confirmed.
The "chain reaction brawl" began on Sunday evening and lasted for about two hours at St Matthews Mall in Kentucky.
Police spokesman Officer Dennis McDonald told NBC News police officers had just started responding to "disturbances" when more began breaking out.
Mr McDonald said: "Disturbances started to feed on themselves. They (police officers) were just overwhelmed with a number of calls for service and reports of disorder."
50 officers from five different agencies responded to a call for backup as the brawls escalated and began to interfere with the businesses in the mall, affecting "the entire mall".
Police advised the stores to close their doors, but those involved in the brawls, mostly people aged between 13 and early 20s, caused more problems by refusing to leave.
Mr McDonald said: "Businesses were in the process of closing their doors, steel grates, and you had juveniles that were not allowing businesses to close up - [they were] climbing on the grates.
"This was a riot. It was crazy," he added.
The youths flooded out into the area surrounding the mall, causing restaurants and shops outside to close their doors as well.
502 snappin at st. Matthews tonight.... Tragic pic.twitter.com/pk73ZZfIQB— Loso Fueggo (@Comlanvii) December 27, 2015
McDonald confirmed it took nearly two hours to restore order, and police "maintained a presence" until 1am in the morning.
Some teens captured the mayhem on video and posted the footage on Twitter:
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the incident, but do not believe it was planned.
Only minor injuries were reported among the brawlers, and no arrests were made. The mall opened the next day at 11am as normal, but could not be reached for comment, according to NBC News.
McDonald said: "I've been a police officer 33 years, and I haven't ever seen anything like this before. We always plan for worst-case scenario, but this exceeded that."