ARLINGTON, Texas -- Police said one suspect was shot by an officer at Parks Mall in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday afternoon, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth reports.
Police said the incident started as a theft report at a Sunglass Hut inside the mall. Mall security staff reported that they were following the suspect who had stolen two pairs of sunglasses.
Two officers at the mall initially responded to the scene. The suspect attempted to flee on foot and ran towards an escalator to go from the lower deck to the upper deck of the mall near the food court. There was one officer on the upper deck and one in lower deck.
Police said the suspect pulled out what appeared to be an imitation or replica firearm and pointed it at the officer on the lower deck. The officer fired his weapon, striking the suspect.
The suspect, who police said is in his early 20s, was rushed to a local hospital. A source told CBS DFW the suspect is in critical condition. The officer involved is believed to be OK, and there were no other injuries.
Police said the incident is under control but told people to avoid the area. The mall is closed and has been evacuated. Mall officials said the mall will be open during normal business hours on Monday.
According to police, officers recovered the suspect's firearm and said it fires "BB's" or pellets.
When people inside the mall heard gunfire, some of them ran as fast as they could. Quan Nguyen said he hid until police could escort his family to safety.
"We were scared so we ducked behind a jewelry store. Everyone was running into restrooms. It was really crowded," Nguyen told CBS DFW. "We were all freaking out. My mom and my aunt were at a different store, so we weren't sure if they were okay or not."
Another shopper, Edith Shepard, described the chaotic scene on Sunday evening. "People were crying. People were trying to get their kids. Kids were getting run over. People didn't know what to do."