Christmas shoppers at a Dallas-area mall got more than they bargained for after a shoplifter pulled a gun on police who confronted him.
The mall shootout occurred Sunday night at The Parks Mall in Arlington, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. A man stole two items from a Sunglass Hut inside the mall, only to be confronted by Arlington police, who were on duty inside the mall. As the suspect went up an escalator, he pulled out what appeared to be a gun. Police opened fire and the suspect was hit.
However, after the suspect was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital, police discovered his gun was actually fake, a pellet gun painted to look like the real thing.
One of the busiest retail weekends of the year ended abruptly for shoppers after a theft suspect was shot by police in the middle of The Parks Mall at Arlington.
Arlington Police say an on-duty officer fired more than once after the suspect pointed what appeared to be a weapon at the officer.
Lt. Christopher Cook said after the shooting officers realized the weapon was not real.
“He produced what we believe to be an imitation or fake replica style gun,” Cook said. “There’s no way an officer or even a citizen could distinguish between the two.”
The suspect was taken to the hospital for surgery, their condition was not immediately available late Sunday.
Around 4:30 p.m. authorities received a call regarding a theft incident at Sunglass Hut.
As mall security investigated the call, two Arlington officers also moved into to assist. Surveillance cameras positioned in the mall captured what happened next.
APD released three still images from the video, which Cook said detectives have reviewed. The video shows the entirety of the shooting which took place on the escalator between the first and second level of the mall.
At least 3 officers surrounded the suspect to render aid after shooting on the second level.
Edgar Cabriales works at a kiosk on the second level and described to WFAA what he witnessed.
“I hear a guy saying ‘hey’ and I was just like looking at him and he literally just pulled a gun, try to shoot a cop because the cop was right beside my kiosk,” Cabriales said.
Here is video of the incident from WFAA Channel 8, the ABC affiliate in Dallas.