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Bystander fires at shoplifters outside of Arrowhead mall

PHOENIX — A bystander opened fire on two accused shoplifters who were pointing a gun at security officers at Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale, Ariz. on Friday, police said.

The Glendale Police Department said it received several 911 calls about 12:15 p.m. that shots had been fired. An additional call from Sears said its loss prevention team had tried to detain two possible shoplifters, when one pulled a gun.

It was originally believed that the suspects fired, but police said that was untrue. Instead, both suspects were not injured by an unidentified 61-year-old bystander, who opened fire after seeing one shoplifter holding a gun.

“The male Glendale resident saw his wife exiting and believed that she may also be in danger,” said Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O’Neil. “Fearing for the safety of his wife and the loss prevention officer, he fired several rounds toward the armed suspect.”

The suspects are described as being a white male with a “scruffy” beard wearing a black t-shirt and black baseball cap and a white female wearing a blue tank top underneath a black hoodie, blue jeans and carrying a gray and blue backpack.

The suspects fled the area on a black motorcycle. Police located a similar vehicle at a nearby apartment complex and are currently investigating.

It is unclear if charges will be pursued against the bystander who opened fire.

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