Man in custody following Arizona mall standoff

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | 8:10 p.m. CST

CHANDLER, Ariz. — An armed man involved in a standoff with Arizona authorities at a Phoenix suburban shopping center was in custody after surrendering to police on Wednesday, and authorities were searching the mall for another possible suspect, officials said.

Police did not immediately identify the man in custody or the possible second suspect.

The situation unfolded just after noon when undercover Chandler police were involved in a shooting with a robbery suspect. Police quickly evacuated the mall after the shooting, and there were no reports of injuries.

The scene later moved from the mall to a Baja Fresh fast-food restaurant where armed Chandler police dressed with body armor and helmets stood behind vehicles and with guns aimed at the restaurant. The suspect surrendered Wednesday afternoon.

Witness Katie Corbin, who was inside Chandler Fashion Center at the time of the midday shooting, told KTVK-TV that people went to the back of the Victoria's Secret store after shots were fired. The upscale shopping center includes a Banana Republic, Coach, Nordstrom and other stores.

She said the situation inside the mall was "scary."

Shoppers and employees of stores and restaurants waited outside the mall on a street, and state police officers blocked access to the mall.

December Davis, 22, a waitress at the Kona Grill inside the mall, said she and others were told to drop everything and exit the shopping center. People left without their purses, cell phones and other belongings.

Witness Michael Bayne told KPHO-TV he saw police running by a kiosk inside the mall and heard gunshots.

Bayne said police told mall patrons and employees to leave the mall. The mall was then placed on lockdown.

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