KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Blue Springs man has been charged with making a terroristic threat after allegedly pointing a toy gun toward a crowded food court at the Independence Center mall on Sunday afternoon.
Jackson County prosecutors filed the charge, a Class E felony, against 23-year-old Rayvon Lewis on Monday.
According to court records, Lewis was involved in a fight with two other men inside the mall on Sunday afternoon.
Lewis also was captured on surveillance video standing in the food court and holding a toy gun, pointing it toward the roof. He then pointed the toy gun into the food court toward at least two people, according to a statement of probable cause.
In one video, dozens of people are shown in the immediate vicinity of the incident, according to the statement.
The Blue Springs man told police he brought the toy gun to the mall “for attention so he could tell people what he really wanted to say,” according to the statement. He also said he wasn’t there to hurt anyone.
Lewis was one of three men taken into custody following the disturbance. Two others are facing city-level charges for their alleged roles in the altercation.
Nathan L. Gouldsmith, 34, of Independence, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child who was with him, as well as interfering with police. Keandre A.L. Lemay, 23, of Kansas City, was charged with disorderly conduct. Both men face the possibility of jail time or a fine.
Police said no real weapons were found at the mall following the incident.
The disturbance Sunday was the third incident at the mall in recent weeks. On Jan. 4, one person was shot and injured in the mall parking lot. The week before, on New Year’s Eve, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg during an altercation.
The mall has implemented a daily curfew for anyone under the age of 18.
A mall spokeswoman said Monday that staff are increasing the number of security personnel and police officers at the mall and working to improve security cameras and overall operations during emergency situations. Mall employees also will be trained on “critical situations” beginning next week.
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.