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Suspect in Fashion Island mall shooting is arrested

December 15, 2012 |  6:36 pm

The man who allegedly fired shots in a parking lot at the Fashion Island shopping mall in Newport Beach on Saturday afternoon was immediately detained by police officers on bike patrol, authorities said.

The suspect was taken into custody shortly after the shots were fired about 4:35 p.m. in the parking lot near Macy’s, said Kathy Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department. Police searched the mall but did not find anyone who had been injured by the shots.

The suspect apparently was trying to get into a white Volvo at the time of his arrest, Lowe said. The mall was not locked down, but individual stores may have been, she said.

Many shoppers posted messages on Facebook and Twitter saying they were locked inside stores.

The mall was crowded with holiday shoppers when the reports of shots were first posted.

Ann Butcher, an employee at Macy’s, said she was on the patio at Whole Foods when people started running and screaming. She said some women left their purses and fled.

“That was very scary,” she said.

Shopper Eric Widmer said he was at the Barnes & Noble bookstore when he saw a mother and daughter rush in crying. He said he heard someone scream, “Shooter!”

He said he managed to exit the bookstore and go to Macy’s, which he could not leave.

“I thought, ‘Great, I get to be scared twice,’” he said. “Lightning strikes twice.”

One person was hurt fleeing the scene, but the injury was not considered serious.


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-- Lauren Williams in Newport Beach