TWIN FALLS - The threat of a mass shooting emptied Magic Valley Mall on Thursday afternoon.

A man told Jerome County health officials that he might open fire on mall patrons or commit suicide, so mall officials evacuated the shopping center about 4:15 p.m., said Jerome County Chief Deputy Jack Johnson.

Deputies responded to the man’s home, but he already had left, Johnson said.

Police believed the threat was “sufficiently credible” to warrant a full evacuation of all patrons and mall employees, said Brent White, general manager of Magic Valley Mall. The shopping center was nearly empty when Twin Falls police arrived at the scene about 4:30 p.m., White said.

Twin Falls city spokesman Joshua Palmer confirmed shortly before 5 p.m. that a man with known mental health issues has been taken into custody by Twin Falls police.

Twin Falls police were armed with the man’s description and found him at the Twin Falls vistor’s center traveling on foot, police said.

No weapons were found on him, Twin Falls police said.

“We didn’t know whether it was an immediate threat or a hoax,” White said.

Magic Valley Mall reopened shortly after 5 p.m.

No further details were immediately available.

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