Jan. 22 (UPI) — One person was killed and five injured during a shootout Sunday afternoon at a mall in Texas after two “good Samaritans” tried to stop a couple of robbers from escaping.
Two citizens attempted to stop two people accused of robbing a jewelry story at the Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio, resulting in one of the citizens being shot and killed, one of the robbers being shot, and leaving another robber still on the run.
Three other bystanders were shot by the second robber as he was fleeing from the Samaritans, and two more were taken to the hospital with non-gunshot-related injuries.
San Antonio police said they believe the second robbery suspect is no longer in the mall after doing a sweep, but they were in the process of interviewing witnesses, and once everyone who was in the mall is released, they plan to search again with K-9 units.
“I heard several gunshots and saw people screaming and running, and I told my best friend to get down, and I was yelling at the employees of the store to get down, and we all ran to the back office to hide,” Colbri Brought-Burke, told NBC News by phone from inside New York & Company, a store at the mall.
As the two robbery suspects were running from the Kay Jewelers store at the mall, two bystanders, described by San Antonio Police Chief William McManus as “good Samaritans,” attempted to stop them from fleeing the mall.
One of the suspects shot one of the Samaritans, and the other, who has a conceal-and-carry license, pulled his own firearm and shot one of the robbers. The other suspect then took off running through the mall, firing as he ran, hitting bystanders trying to get away from the shooting.
“It is absolutely senseless,” McManus said.
Nearly 30 police and emergency vehicles responded to the scene, searching the mall for the other robbery suspect but turning up nothing.
The mall and each of its stores were locked down, and police interviewed witnesses while slowly leading them out of the mall one by one after the stores and mall were determined to be safe.
McManus said the duo attempted “a robbery gone really, really bad,” and said he was unsure whether the two Samaritans were together or just happened to be there at the same time.
The FBI, as well as the Comal and Bexar county sheriff’s offices, are working with San Antonio police to track down the second suspect, who was said to be a Hispanic male wearing a hoodie and who may be driving a silver car seen leaving the mall after it was locked down.
“We were in the mall, we heard the shots and just started running,” said Benjamin Arsate, who was shopping at the mall when shots rang out. “It was chaos. I mean where do you go to have fun now? This is insane. It’s like nowhere’s safe anymore.”