Police release photo of Houston man who caused mall stampede

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Police in Houston released an image of a suspect they say caused a stampede at a Houston-area mall on Sunday when he jumped onto a table in the food court and declared he was going to kill himself.

The picture tweeted out by the Houston Police Department early Tuesday shows the suspect appearing to be a young white male with blond hair wearing glasses and a green T-shirt.

Have you seen this person? He is wanted for questioning in the incident at Memorial City Mall Sunday afternoon. If you know who he is or his whereabouts, please contact @CrimeStopHOU at 713-222-TIPS. You can remain anonymous. #hounews pic.twitter.com/K6INsjYB4J

Constable Ted Heap said during a police press conference over the weekend that the individual was at the Memorial City Mall when he “put on what appears to be a half mask … kind of a red mask, came down the escalators, came down to the food court, and then at a slow trot went through the food court. About halfway through the food court he jumped up on a table and declared that he was going to kill himself.”

“Of course, at this point we had chaos. People started fleeing,” Heap added.

The authorities said at the press conference that the picture of the suspect would be released after the criminal intelligence division had a chance to review it first.

“We will probably be able to get a lot of help and feedback from the public as far as being able to identify the suspect,” said Heap. “We are looking forward to that.”

Assistant Chief Sheryl Victorian made a sharp statement at the end of the press conference when asked if this incident could have been a prank.

“I have no idea if it is a prank or not but it is not a prank to us. This is very serious,” she said. “We are going to treat it as a terroristic threat. Especially on the heels of what is going on around our country and what has recently happened in the state of Texas.”

The suspect still remains at large and could face possible charges of making terroristic threats if apprehended.

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