OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Police are investigating after shots were fired at Oak Park Mall Sunday afternoon.
According to Overland Park police, around 4:20 p.m., two male suspects were found shoplifting before they were confronted by three undercover detectives.
As the two suspects attempted to leave near the mall food court, the detectives identified themselves and tried to arrest the suspects.
That is when one of the suspects resisted arrest, leading to a struggle, and the suspect was able to grab one of the detective’s guns, pulling the trigger and firing one gunshot inside the mall.
The suspect then ran north of the mall and was immediately arrested.
Nobody was hit by the gunshot or injured during the altercation. The second suspect left the mall and took off running toward 95th street before they were apprehended by police.
“A food court full of people just running,” recalled Asia Taylor, who works in the Oak Park Mall food court where the gunshot was fired. “A gunshot went off, and we are freaking out. Eventually, I went back to my job to see what happened, and my boss was like, ‘Go, go, go,’ and then I saw three to four officers holding down the shooter in the main area of the mall.”
This comes just two days after a shooting at Independence Mall injured four people.
“I had texted my mom and said Oak Park Mall would never have that happened,” Taylor said. “I sent her the information on the Independence shooting, and I was like, ‘Oak Park Mall would never do that.’ So I was just in shock. We have been in the mall since January in business, and I’ve been working at Panda since April, and I never would’ve thought this would happen at Oak Park.”
Overland Park Police Officer Lacy said the incident was isolated.
“I can say that this mall is very, very safe. I was just here a couple of weeks ago with my daughters shopping around, and I felt safe and comfortable, so this is an isolated incident,” Lacy said. “We usually do not have these types of incidents. We have some shoplifters, but never anything like this where it escalates to shots fired.”
Both suspects are in custody and the mall is currently closed and expected not to reopen for the rest of the evening. They are expected to open tomorrow and continue business as usual.
This incident is still under investigation. If you have any information, you are asked to contact TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.