Michael Hough and his wife Shaashana were arrested Saturday in Phoenix after they attempted to steal a DeWalt drill from the Sears store at Arrowhead Towne Center the previous day, said Sgt. Jay O'Neill.
The couple was stopped by an unarmed loss prevention officer as they attempted to leave the store, said O'Neill. Shaashana, 33, then pulled out the gun from her backpack when the prevention officer tried to detain the two, said police.
O'Neill said 61-year- Martin Brewer waiting in the parking lot for his wife witnessed the suspect brandishing a gun in the officer's direction, and exited his vehicle armed with his own weapon.
The man then saw his wife leaving the store in the direction of the officer.
Fearing for the safety of both his wife and the officer, the man fired his handgun four times toward the suspects, O'Neill said.
O'Neill said no bystanders or security officers were struck in the confrontation.
The suspects then fled on a motorcycle, which authorities were able to recover at a residence near the 17600 block of North 79th Avenue, said O'Neill. Authorities then used surveillance video to positively identify the suspects.
According to court documents, the plastic gun was located on the roadway leaving the mall. The orange trigger had been colored black.
The couple told police they were stealing the drill to sell it for money to buy food.
Authorities say the couple had their initial appearances Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court.
Shaashana Hough is being held on $50,000 bond on suspicion of armed robbery and aggravated assault while Michael Hough is being held on $38,000 bond on suspicion of armed robbery.
Police said Brewer is facing a felony charge of unlawful discharge of a firearm charges.