LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Police on Monday searched for a robbery suspect who disappeared in the frantic rush of customers following a failed heist at a mall jewelry counter.
A second suspect was killed in a gun battle with police.
Police Department spokesman Sgt. John Pasquariello said the "brazen armed robbery" occurred Sunday in Macy's department store located at the Promenade Mall in suburban Woodland Hills.
Someone called 911 and officers arrived within five minutes, police said. One suspect was immediately shot and killed, Pasquariello said.
By early Monday, police completed an inspection of the mall, accounting for all customers and employees. An accomplice escaped, pretending he was a member of the crowd evacuating the mall, Pasquariello said.
Police found a gun in a parking lot and believed it may have been dropped by the suspect, he said.
Jean Terrill said she was in the jewelry department when another customer told her about the robbery. Terrill said she and three other women hurried out of the department store.
"Meanwhile, the cops had come. They had their rifles drawn and we heard five shots as we walked out of Macy's. It was very quick, bing-bing-bing-bing-bing," Terrill said.
Maria Keller said she received a telephone call from her uncle shortly after watching a television news broadcast about gunfire erupting at the mall.
The 25-year-old said her uncle, aunt, grandmother and 7-month-old cousin were in Macy's and were herded by employees into a storage room behind a gift wrap counter.
"They heard a lot of shots and members of the gift wrap store brought them in and they were hiding," Keller said. "He was nervous and scared. My grandmother has a heart condition and that was scary, too."
Keller said authorities eventually escorted her relatives out.
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