Suspect wounded in an officer-involved shooting at The Parks Mall
Arlington Police were investigating a possible theft at a sunglasses kiosk
An Arlington police officer was involved in a shooting at a crowded Parks Mall Sunday afternoon, leaving a male suspect wounded and transported to a local hospital.
At approximately 4:30 p.m., Arlington Police responded to a report of a possible theft at the Sunglass Hut. The suspect was determined to have stolen two pairs of sunglasses.
The suspect was in the process of being apprehended by an Arlington police officer working from the mall's South Retail District Unit. As the suspect began to run, he produced what appeared to be a weapon and pointed it at the officer.
The officer said he felt threatened and returned fire and an unconfirmed report suggested the suspect was struck in the armpit. The suspect was placed under arrest and transported to a local hospital, where his condition is unknown.
The officer was uninjured in the incident. No other individuals were struck by gunfire or reported injured.
The entire mall, including the AMC 18 Movie Theatre, was evacuated and closed as the police prepared to continue its investigation. Anyone that was at the mall at that time and may have cell phone footage is asked to contact the Arlington Police Department.
Edgar Cabriales, 23, was working at a novelty balloon kiosk near the base of an escalator that leads up to the food court when the incident occurred. He said the entire scenario unfolded in about a minute, and caused a panic amongst mall patrons in his vicinity. He described hearing a verbal command directed at the suspect to "stop" before the officer fired gunshots.
The suspect, who he described as wearing a red backpack, was apprehended near the top of the escalator.
"You see people running, see the guy pulling out the gun," Cabriales said. "I was scared. I wanted to make sure the kids around me were safe."
After the shooting occurred, Cabriales captured a small video of police surrounding the suspect on the escalator.
"I just want to say for people out there that are thinking of trying something stupid, don't do it. Think about the families," he said. "Think about the workers who are trying to go home safe. They don't want to get a phone call from police telling them a family member was shot."
The Arlington Voice will update this story as more information becomes available.