MERIDEN - Officials say a transformer explosion may have been responsible for a report of shots fired that prompted frightened shoppers to take cover at a Meriden mall.
Police say they responded to a call of an active shooter at the Westfield Mall in Meriden Thursday night. It turned out to be unfounded.
Still, local police departments said Friday they are prepared if a similar call is made to a mall in southwestern Connecticut. Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin says they have been alert for possible incidents at soft targets and says they are prepared to respond.
"We do a lot of training with our agency for active shooters. We're probably way out in front in that type of training," says Conklin.
A spokesperson for Stamford Town Center says their mall security also takes part in active shooter exercises and works closely with local police departments and Homeland Security.
Jessica Schilero, a social worker for the nonprofit agency Family Centers, says her office has received many phone calls from people in the wake of the Orlando shooting that killed 49 people.
"It's important for people to keep in mind that living in fear is not going to be helpful in this situation," says Schilero.