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HeadlinesMore details: Tense scene at Great Mall as police respond to call...

More details: Tense scene at Great Mall as police respond to call about shots fired

Last Friday, November 5, a call came into the Milpitas Police Department (MPD) about a knife fight happening between 3 individuals at the Great Mall, near a restaurant. 

Upon arrival, the police detained the 3 people, among whom was a 15-year-old male carrying a sizable concealed blade. 

That happened at 5:22pm.

Twelve minutes later, at 5:34, a new call came into 911. The reason: shots were allegedly being fired at the Great Mall, in Burlington Coat Factory. Police personnel did not know if the shots-fired call was related to the knife-fight call.

The second call set off a wave of activity, with an array of officials from MPD, San Jose Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, Milpitas Fire Department, and Rural Metro Ambulance pouring onto Great Mall property to begin or assist in a search and evacuation process. In the meantime, many mall shoppers and staffers sheltered in place, awaiting the all-clear or safe escort from the premises by police. 

Come 7:39, the search was over. Burlington Coat Factory was clean: no evidence of any shots fired was found there, nor elsewhere in the mall. Nor was any person found to be injured in either incident.

The 15-year-old with the knife was found to be on probation in Santa Clara County for past violations including robbery, auto theft, and possession of an illegal weapon. The other 2 detainees were ultimately released. Police booked the weapon carrier into juvenile hall. Charges: violation of probation warrant, possession of a controlled substance, possession of concealed dagger. 

As for the shots-fired call, witnesses pointed to a 41-year-old male as having been involved. He was on California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole, stemming from a burglary conviction. Although police could not attribute any gunfire to this person, they did discover a controlled substance and narcotic paraphernalia on him. As a result, he was booked into jail.


Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.


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