Police: teen linked to Mall of Georgia threat

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An online threat sparked panic for people near a popular metro Atlanta mall Tuesday afternoon.

Gwinnett County Police said they assigned considerable resources to the Mall of Georgia in response to a threat written in an online gaming chat room. 

"This information was brought to our attention yesterday by a concerned citizen who was participating in an online gaming chat room when he observed statements made by someone who he was gaming with," said Gwinnett Police Corporal Deon Washington.

The threat, according to police, was specific.  The poster said he planned to open fire at the mall at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday and shared exactly how many people he planned to shoot before taking his own life.

"We understand that this is an alarming situation for the general public," said Cpl. Washington.  "Due to the magnitude of these types of threats, we deployed numerous both uniform and tactical, undercover resources within the Mall of Georgia for the majority of the day."

Investigators were able to track the online threat to a 16-year-old boy who lives in metro Atlanta.  Police have not released his name.

"At this point, he has not been taken into custody, but we know exactly who he is, we know where he lives and again, we're working to solidify the information about what took place," Washington explained. 

Police said the teen never came near the mall Tuesday afternoon to act on the threat and they continue to explore what charges he may face.