PD: Bystander opens fire after attempted shoplifting at Arrowhead Towne Center

GLENDALE, AZ - Police have concluded their search for two suspects after a shoplifting attempt led to shots being fired Friday outside Arrowhead Towne Center.

Sgt. Jay O'Neill said the suspects were not located, but detectives are continuing to work all leads in the case.

A motorcycle believed to have been used by the suspects to flee the shopping center was found at an apartment complex near the mall, and has been impounded.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident, which began around 12:15 p.m. after reports of shots fired at the mall near Loop 101 and Bell Road.

A Sears security officer began following a man and woman outside the store after seeing the pair shoplifting.

As the officer prepared to detain them, the female suspect retrieved a handgun from her backpack.

O'Neill said a 61-year-old man 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 toward the suspects, O'Neill said. It is unclear how many shots were fired.

O'Neill said no bystanders or security officers were struck in the confrontation, but witnesses told police one of both of the suspects may have been hit by gunfire.

The suspects fled the area on a black motorcycle, which is believed to have been recovered at an apartment complex near 79th Avenue and St. John Road.

The male suspect is described as having a "scruffy" beard, and was seen wearing a black t-shirt and black baseball cap. The female suspect was seen wearing a black hoodie, jeans and a blue and gray backpack.

O'Neill said Glendale SWAT and patrol officers spent several hours searching the surrounding area for the suspects, but were unable to locate the pair.

Air15 video showed a large police presence and crime tape blocking off the Sears entrance for much of Friday afternoon. Because the incident happened outside the mall, there was never any closure in place, O'Neill said.

O'Neill told ABC15 it is unclear at this point in the investigation whether or not charges will be filed against the man who fired at the armed suspect.

Glendale police initially said it was believed the female suspect opened fire during the altercation.



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