East Rutherford, New Jersey – November 24, 2023
In a tense turn of events on Black Friday, the American Dream Mall, located in the heart of the New Jersey Meadowlands Sports Complex, faced a brief closure due to a bomb threat. Governor Phil Murphy, via the X social media network on Friday, assured the public that the mall has since reopened after a thorough investigation by law enforcement.
The incident unfolded around 8:10 a.m. when state police received a bomb threat, prompting the evacuation of the bustling shopping center, which is also home to the Jets National Football League teams and the New York Giants.
Governor Murphy promptly communicated the evacuation order and later updated the public, stating, “The matter is still under investigation, but law enforcement has determined there is no imminent threat to the American Dream at this time. The New Jersey State Police has reopened the mall.”
While the governor did not provide additional details, the police and the mall management remained tight-lipped, declining immediate requests for comment.
State police, actively involved in investigating the bomb threat, shared updates on social media, reporting that the threat was received around 7:15 a.m. The decision to evacuate the mall was made as a precautionary measure, with the New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit and K-9 unit conducting thorough sweeps for explosive devices, none of which were found.
“The mall has been deemed safe, and American Dream will be returning to normal operations,” assured state police in a statement. Governor Murphy reiterated the commitment to vigilance, stating, “We will remain vigilant to ensure everyone stays safe this holiday season.”
As the situation unfolded, emergency alerts blared on the phones of individuals nearby, instructing them to use the nearest exits and avoid elevators.
Witnesses reported a calm evacuation process, with one mall-goer, @ChristinaSees, tweeting, “Was at American Dream for the evacuation alert, and the 35 people who were shopping calmly walked to the exits. The police were on alert when I arrived at the mall around 7:30 am…so whatever it was prompted an evacuation around 8:17 am.”
By late morning, a second alert from state police confirmed that the situation had been resolved, and the facility was deemed safe, allowing shoppers to resume their Black Friday activities. The incident remains under investigation, with further details yet to be released.
The expeditious response by law enforcement underscores the commitment to ensuring the safety of visitors during this holiday season.