The incident, which one local news station dubbed a "melee," occurred at Mayfair Mall in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa.
"What occurred this afternoon appears to be a group of youth intent on disrupting the shopping experience at Mayfair. The safety and security of our visitors are always our top priority. This behavior is isolated and we will not condone it," Mayfair Senior General Manager Steve Smith said in an e-mail statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"To assist police earlier in identifying and apprehending suspects, we made the decision to close the mall shortly before our regular closing time," Smith wrote. "We anticipate there will be consequences as a result of what happened today."
WTMJ news interviewed one of the teen's who said they were "just trying to have fun":
The Sentinel reports the incident may have started after a shopper was accused of shoplifting:
Shafi said a Boston Store clerk told her that the incident occurred after a girl was accused of retail theft and the fracas spilled over into Boston Store.
"Her friends followed her and the security guard into the store, screaming, barking, yelling, and knocking over racks and displays. We were invited to stay and continue shopping," Shafi said in an e-mail. "But we decided to leave through the exit where police guards surrounded the building. The salespeople who stuck around were immensely professional and comforting as well."
Laura Hughes was in the Barnes & Noble bookshop when she heard screaming and the sound of a large group of people running. She walked out the second floor of the bookseller and "saw large sums of teenagers running towards Boston Store and going down the escalators to the first level. Mall security had been chasing some of the kids, followed by police officers, who were literally herding the kids downstairs."
People eating in the food court noticed lights dimming and going out before seeing security officers walking around.
Another shopper said she saw a group of young people flow out of the food court area on the mall's second floor and saw a security officer blow his whistle but no one reacted because the noise from the kids was much louder than the whistle. She said the kids were mostly young girls.