Flames, heavy smoke pouring out of Roseville mall following standoff | TheUnion.com

Flames, heavy smoke pouring out of Roseville mall following standoff

ROSEVILLE — Police detained a suspect and were checking a backpack for bombs Thursday after a man started a fire and forced the evacuation of the Roseville Galleria shopping center.

A man claimed to have a gun when he entered the Electronics Boutique inside the Roseville Galleria Mall shortly before 10:30 a.m. Thursday, said Megan MacPherson, spokeswoman for the city of Roseville.

He started a fire, then barricaded himself in a back room, but there were no reports of hostages or injuries, MacPherson said.

She said the man is believed to have acted alone. Police did not know a motive, she said. They were not immediately releasing the suspect’s name before he was taken to the Roseville city jail.

Firefighters were initially unable to enter the mall because members of the bomb squad were examining a backpack left behind by the suspect, for fear that it might contain an explosive device. A long column of smoke is now extending from the building as firefighters work to douse the flames.

Police and sheriff’s deputies, including a county SWAT team, detained the man inside the mall. They were unable to immediately say if the man had a gun. Police fired shots from a non-lethal weapon to break open a window in the mall, she said.

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