Guard, Suspect Shot in Attempted Robbery Outside Mall

A suspect and a security guard were shot during an attempted robbery at a shopping mall Monday, while a lunchtime crowd ducked for cover, officials and a witness said.

The guard's injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, said Bill Ball, general manager of the Arbor Place Mall. Police said the suspect's wounds were more severe.

The events unfolded while a Brinks guard was entering the mall to service some of the ATM machines, Ball said.

Douglasville Police Chief Joe Whisenant said it happened a few minutes after noon.

He said the security guard was inside on the second floor when the would-be robber approached and put a gun to the guard's head. They scuffled and both men fired, with the guard hit in the leg and the suspect in the mouth, Whisenant said.

Both men were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. The suspect appeared to be more severely injured, the chief said.

Neither man's identity was immediately released. Whisenant said the suspect is 41 years old and from DeKalb County on Atlanta's eastern side.

He also said that money, the apparent target of the robbery, was recovered.

A witness, Denise Shipp of Douglasville, said she was eating lunch in the mall's food court with her husband John when they heard gunshots. She said her husband saw the guard tackle the suspect and hold him on ground.

She said people in the food court were diving under tables, holding up chairs and hiding behind a half wall.

A bullet hole was visible in a window over the mall's front entrance — its apparent trajectory from the shooting scene passing directly above the food court.

Douglasville police put the mall under lockdown, not letting anyone in or out, for a brief period during the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

The mall manager told The Associated Press that a second suspect was arrested. But Whisenant said the wounded man is the only known suspect in the case.

By mid-afternoon, yellow crime scene tape still surrounded the Brinks truck, which remained outside the mall entrance, but traffic was being allowed in and out of mall freely.

Douglasville police did not immediately return a call for comment from The Associated Press.

Douglasville is 21 miles west of Atlanta.

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