Police shot and killed a suspect in the attempted armed robbery of a mall jewelry store Sunday and believed at least one other suspect had escaped, authorities said, in a report filed by the Associated Press (AP).
Sgt. John Pasquariello, a police spokesman, said two to three men attempted “a brazen armed robbery” at about 5:15 p.m. in the suburban Woodland Hills mall, the AP reported.
Someone called 911 and officers arrived within five minutes, police said. One suspect was immediately shot and killed, Pasquariello said.
Police initially believed that hostages had been taken, but all customers and employees inside the mall were accounted for after several hours, Pasquariello said.
It was “highly unlikely” that anyone had been taken hostage, Pasquariello said late Sunday night.
Police found a gun in a parking lot and believed it may have been dropped by a fleeing suspect, Pasquariello said. Police said they believed one suspect remained at large after initially saying that two suspects remained loose, the AP reported.
Authorities said it was “highly unlikely” that the slain robber had two accomplices, though they had not ruled out the possibility that there was a third accomplice, the AP reported.
Soon after the robbery attempt, several customers called relatives on cell phones from inside the mall, which had briefly led police to fear they were being held hostage, the AP reported. Authorities escorted employees and customers outside and determined that no one was missing.
Jean Terrill said she was in the jewelry department when another customer told her about the robbery. Terrill said she and three other women hurried out of the department store, the AP reported. “Meanwhile, the cops had come. They had their rifles drawn and we heard five shots as we walked out of Macy’s. It was very quick, bing-bing-bing-bing-bing,” Terrill said.