PHOENIX (FOX 10) – Police say one man has been arrested after two suspects used a metal rod to break a glass case during a robbery at the Mercado de Los Cielos jewelry store inside Desert Sky Mall.
“With a wrench, he hit up to 10 times but just the loud sound that’s what caused people to panic and run,” said Rosalynne Castillo, jewelry store owner.
In surveillance video from other shops, you can see people running from the Mercado, which is attacked to Desert Sky Mall. Word spread that shots had been fired.
“Pretty much what I’ve seen was bystanders running past and everyone was just panicking [and] everyone [was] picking up their kids from the little carousel,” one witness said.
Castillo says since the Walmart shooting in El Paso last weekend people are more on edge.
“It’s just a panicked time right now, this is a very Hispanic area, right now they feel they’re under a little bit of threat, they’re being extra cautious,” said Castillo. “Again this has blown up than really what happened.”
Phoenix police say the suspects got away with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and drove off in a dark-colored vehicle, but later in the day the vehicle was found near 67th Avenue and Cactus Road and 31-year-old Edward Ahumada was arrested and booked into jail.
Police say 31-year-old Edward Ahumada was arrested in connection to a robbery at Desert Sky Mall.
Officers said he was badly cut from breaking the glass and admitted to the robbery.
“The main message we want to get out to the public is that there was no shooting,” said Sgt. Maggie Cox.
Workers feared the worst when they were forced to evacuate.
“Everybody just started running out of the store and I just made sure everybody was getting evacuated outside,” another witness said.
A little shaken up, workers say many stepped up to make sure everyone was safe.
“I made sure that everyone was safe,” a mall employee said. “I got on the walkie talkies and talked to all the managers [to] make sure that they knew what was going on. I noticed that the mall gate was still open, so I had to make sure to come back and close it.”
Business is back to normal at the mall, and store owners say they are relieved no shots were fired.
The robbery remains under investigation.
If you have any information, please call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.