Arrest Report: Police say Boulevard Mall suspect committed act of terrorism

Emile Hopson (Photo: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

The moments were chaotic when the Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas was evacuated last Thursday following reports of a man with a gun.

Police say they tracked down the suspect, Emile Hopson, through witness statements. Police said Hopson committed an act of terrorism by bringing a fake gun into the mall.

The arrest report says even though the gun turned out to be fake, Hopson's actions were committed as a crime by attempting to sabotage, by coercion or use violence. Police say based on the current climate in the country regarding active shooters, including what happened in Las Vegas during the One October mass shooting, Hopson made people believe lives were at risk. Police say he faces charges for an Act of Terrorism, false information as an act of terrorism, and burglary while in possession of a gun.

RELATED | Mother of man accused in Boulevard Mall chaos: 'He needs a mental hospital'

Terrorism expert David Shepherd said being vigilant is key.

"It gets back to the real point -- what's on their fear. How would you feel if you saw that and that gun is pointed at you?" Shepherd said.

Authorities tracked Hopson to a nearby apartment building and when officers questioned him, he said a masked man tried to rob him but got away. Other witnesses said Hopson left his apartment wearing a green hoodie, mask and had what looked like a weapon.

The arrest report said Hopson's DNA was found on the suspect clothing.

Police said they talked to a woman who lives with Hopson who said she saw a man leaving her apartment with similar clothing, but claims she didn't know if it was Hopson.

The bottom line - if you see something suspicious -- report it.

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