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Police Respond to Report of Gun at Barton Creek Mall; No Threat Found (Update)

Update:  It’s worth noting Eanes ISD briefly locked down all its buildings earlier today, in relation to the call at Barton Creek. A statement on the district’s website reads:

“While law enforcement has informed us that the incident is contained to the mall and our students are in no danger, we have taken the precaution of putting the Adult Transition Services building, Cedar Creek Elementary, Hill Country Middle School and Westlake High School on lockdown.”

The top-ranked comment on a Reddit thread discussing the Barton Creek scare is from a parent at Hill Country Middle School. “They made her scared for her life, even though they were told it was totally isolated to the mall which is like a mile away at least.” (Some language may not be safe for work.)

Update (1:24 p.m.): KUT News just spoke with Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. He says there's a chance the reported threat at Barton Creek Mall was a hoax. 

"We had reports of a gunman at the mall," Acevedo says. "We responded a significant number of resources and spanned out throughout the mall; we were unable to locate any gunman."

"We believe it may have been a prank call, and obviously, that’s a violation of law, that’s a crime. And we will be investigating to see if we can identify the person that called it in, and if in fact it was a prank, hold them accountable."

Original post (12:55 p.m.): Twitter lit up this afternoon with reports of a gun at Barton Creek Mall. According to several sources on Twitter, at one point Nordstrom went on lockdown.

Police have been out at Barton Creek and report no threats, but are encouraging people to avoid the area.

KUT News will update this post pending any further developments. 

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.