Shots fired inside Arrowhead mall; police search for suspects - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Police: Bystander fires shots towards shoplifting suspects at Arrowhead Mall

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -

A shoplifting suspect pulled a gun on an unarmed loss prevention officer at the Arrowhead Towne Center mall and shots were fired, but not by the suspects or security -- a bystander.

According to Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O'Neill, the investigation revealed that two suspects, a male and female had entered the Sears store located near the Loop 101 and Bell Road and were in the process of shoplifting.  As they left the store's upper level, they were approached by the officer, who attempted to detain them.  That's when the female suspect got a handgun from a backpack and pointed it towards the direction of the officer.

Meanwhile, a 61-year-old male who was sitting in a vehicle outside of the mall waiting on his wife who was inside the store saw what was happening and came to the aid of the officer.  At the same time, the man saw his 64-year-old wife exiting the store from the same area as the officer.

"Fearing for the safety of his wife and the loss prevention officer, the male fired his handgun an unknown number of times toward the armed suspect.  There are witnesses who indicate that either one or more of the shoplifting suspects may have been hit by the gunfire.  Both of the shoplifting suspects then got onto a black motorcycle and fled the area," stated O'Neill.

Police officers later found a motorcycle in a nearby apartment complex that matched the description of the suspect motorcycle and they're investigating the possibility that it may be involved in this case.  It wasn't registered to that location it's not known at this time if it belonged to a resident or abandoned.

The suspects are described as a white male, wearing a black t-shirt and black baseball cap, and a white female, wearing a blue tank top under a black hooded jacket, carrying a blue and gray backpack.  The motorcycle was described as a black sport bike.

After an extensive check of the area and apartment complex located in the 17600 block of N. 79th Avenue, police did not find the suspects.

O'Neill says at this point, it's unknown if charges will be filed against the man who fired shots towards the armed suspect.

"This incident took place outside of the mall and there was never any closure of the mall, or the Sears store other than in the immediate vicinity of the incident," stated O'Neill.  "We are also unable to confirm whether or not either of the shoplifting suspects were struck by gunfire from the bystander and at this point in the investigation have no definitive information in either direction."

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