Teen charged in Mall of Georgia threat

A 16-year-old boy has been charged in connection with an online threat involving the Mall of Georgia, Gwinnett County police said Wednesday.

The boy is a Gwinnett resident, police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said. His name and other identifying information were not released due to state Open Records laws. The charge was harassing communications.

Tuesday, Gwinnett police ramped up visible and undercover patrols at the Buford mall because of the threat, which was made in an online gaming chat room, police said. The person had threatened to “shoot up” the mall and said the shooting would happen at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The person who informed police about the threat also was part of the online gaming chat room.

“This is a very disturbing situation that we take very seriously,” police spokesman Cpl. Deon Washington said Tuesday.

Police said the mall was out of immediate danger about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.