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More than 50 shots fired at Fashion Island mall; suspect held

Marcos Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove is suspected of firing a handgun in the mall parking lot in Newport Beach. No one was hit.

December 15, 2012|By Lauren Williams and Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times
  • A gun, a hat and other items sit on a car in a Fashion Island parking lot near Macy's on Saturday. A gunman fired more than 50 rounds at the busy Newport Beach shopping mall. A suspect was arrested.
A gun, a hat and other items sit on a car in a Fashion Island parking lot near… (Kevin Chang, Daily Pilot )

A gunman at Fashion Island in Newport Beach apparently fired more than 50 rounds in a parking lot at the busy shopping mall Saturday before he was apprehended by police, authorities said.

Marcos Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove, was arrested in the parking lot near the Macy's department store shortly after allegedly firing the shots about 4:30 p.m., said Kathy Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department. Officers on bike patrol apprehended Gurrola as he was standing by a white Honda.

Police searched the mall but did not find anyone who had been injured by the shots, which were apparently fired either into the air or at the ground.

More than 50 rounds from a handgun were recovered at the scene, said Deputy Chief David McGill. A handgun was also recovered at the scene, but police did not reveal any more details about the weapon. The state's landmark assault-weapons law, which went into effect in 2000, banned the use of handgun magazines with more than 19 bullets.

The mall was crowded with holiday shoppers at the time of the shooting. Some stores were immediately locked down, and many shoppers posted messages on Facebook and Twitter saying they were locked inside.

Shopper Dena Nassef said she and another person were walking toward Macy's when people started yelling and running.

"With what happened in Connecticut, we were freaking out," she said. "It was like crazy, people leaving stores."

Ann Butcher, an employee at Macy's, said she was on the patio at Whole Foods when people started running and screaming. She said some women left their purses and fled.

"That was very scary," she said.

Shopper Eric Widmer said he was at the Barnes & Noble bookstore when he saw a mother and daughter rush in crying. He said he heard someone scream, "Shooter!"

He said he managed to leave the bookstore and go to Macy's, which he could not leave.

"I thought, 'Great, I get to be scared twice,'" he said. "Lightning strikes twice."

One person was hurt fleeing the scene, but the injury was not considered serious.

lauren.williams@latimes.com

rosanna.xia@latimes.com

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