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Police looking for man who pepper-sprayed shoppers at Tempe Marketplace

Posted at 11:29 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 06:43:37-05

TEMPE, AZ — Tempe police are still searching for a man who pepper-sprayed a group of shoppers Monday morning at Tempe Marketplace.

Around 10:45 a.m. Monday, police responded to the shopping center for reports that after a man had tried to shoplift at the Michael's, he accidentally discharged pepper spray inside the store.

After the suspect was confronted inside Michael's, he reportedly released the spray, hitting several people before he fled the area.

Six people had to be treated by responding fire crews, most for eye irritation.

"It got into our eyes and we breathed it in, and we just started coughing so we had to get out of the building," shopper Vicki described to ABC15 crews at the scene. "There was a little boy and a man just coughing and coughing."

Police launched a search in the area for the suspect, but have yet to locate the man.

The investigation remains ongoing.