Police release photo of masked suspect arrested at Boulevard Mall
A masked man who was carrying a fake gun and allegedly pointing it at people inside the Boulevard Mall is facing a charge of committing an act of terrorism, according to Metro Police.
Emile Daren Hopson, 25, was arrested Thursday night at his apartment near the mall on Maryland Boulevard and Desert Inn Road.
Numerous Metro patrol officers responded to the mall around 7 p.m. after receiving calls that a man wearing a mask and armed with a rifle was in the mall. Police evacuated the mall.
Police were able to determine where Hopson lived and that the gun was a fake. Hopson was taken into custody. No one was injured.
8 News Now also learned Hopson was banned from the mall two weeks prior to the incident for allegedly stealing shoes.
During Thursday’s incident, the actions of the security officers left a real impact on shoppers. The officers said many people reached out to them to say thank you.
When asked what he was thinking or what he did when he heard there was a gunman in the mall, Andrew Killpatrick said, “Just to get everybody out; everybody safe. disregard on my life.”
“I just acted how I was trained to do,” said Oscar Olivero, Security Supervisor at The Boulevard Mall.
Olivero and Killpatrick sprang into action when they heard an armed gunman was walking through the mall.
“Just as long as everybody was safe that’s what I was worried about,” Olivero said.
Exclusive video obtained by 8 News NOW shows the moments after shoppers ran out of the mall and when the masked man was walking past stores with the fake firearm pointed up.
Residents in the area said Hopson nor his fake guns are strangers to them or their neighborhood, which is located across the street from the mall.
“He’s been carrying it a while; up and down the street,” Ray Dalo said.
Ray dalo confronted him about two weeks ago.
“He came into the store; I saw the rifle hanging from his bag and basically, I told him,’is that a real gun,'” Dalo asked. “And he said ‘no, it’s fake.’ And I actually felt it and everything. It was all plastic.”
Security officers say they’re just grateful everyone went home safely.
“It feels good to have people look up to me to guide or to assist in any type of way,” said It’s a really good feeling, but like I said, it’s all because of my job. I’m just glad to help people,” Killpatrick said.
Other residents and store workers in the area said they also used to see Hopson acting strangely. They said he would walk in circles and talk to himself, along with come up to them and sing random R&B songs.