Suspected Fashion Island Gunman in Custody; No Shooting Victims; Witness Said “He Was Trying to Scare Us”

posted: December 15th, 2012 06:29 pm | 9Comments

UPDATED

Newport Beach police arrested a man in the Macy’s parking lot at Fashion Island just after 4:30 p.m. today after witnesses said he fired at least 18 shots in the air.

Police have identified the shooting suspect at Marcos Sarinana Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove. He is suspected of firing at least 50 shots, although no one was struck by gunfire, authorities said.

Several witnesses saw the man and his gun as they parked and were walking toward the shopping center.

“It looked like he was aiming up,” said an Orange County woman who asked to be identified by her first name, Tammy. “He was looking at us. He was trying to scare us.”

Tammy and three friends had arrived at Fashion Island about 4:30 p.m. and parked in the lot across from the Big Island movie theater. They were walking toward Macy’s when they heard a popping noise, looked back and saw a man in a baseball cap aiming a gun in the air. The man was standing near the hedges at the end of the lot, they said. Police said he apparently owned a white Honda parked in the lot.

“I knew it was a gun,” said a woman who identified herself as Susan. “I heard nine rounds, a pause, and nine more rounds. I called 911 and ran.”

“We ran to Macy’s,” Tammy said. They were screaming that there was a shooter in the parking lot.

Laby Shayan of Newport Beach said she saw the man just after she parked her car.

“He was standing there, looking down, with a gun at his side,” she said. “I thought, ‘Is this a gun or a toy, probably a toy.’ Then he put the gun in the air. Five shots I heard.”

Newport Beach Police Department bicycle officers, who were on routine holiday patrol of the center, quickly took the man into custody without incident, said Kathy Lowe, a police spokeswoman. She did not know the motive for the shooting, she said, nor did she release information about the gun.

No one was injured by gunfire, she said, but one woman was injured while running for safety.

Throughout Fashion Island, shoppers were herded into dressing rooms and restrooms.

Julie Means of Corona del Mar was at Dick’s Sporting Goods and said that mall security had ordered a lockdown, according to an announcement over a loudspeaker.

“They just locked the doors and would not let us leave,” she said in a telephone interview. “It was fairly calm. I think people were in shock and trying to stay back from the doorways.”

Dena Nassef of Orange was shopping with family members, walking toward Macy’s, when a wave of people began running toward them.

“They were running and screaming,” Nassef said. “They were hysterical. We turned around and ran, too.”

Her nephew, Robert Escatel, 11 of Huntington Beach, said he was thinking about Friday’s shootings in Connecticut as he ran to safety.

“I was freaking out,” he said. “I’ve never been in a situation this big. I felt really shaky and nervous.”

As they ran to find shelter in Nordstrom, they said, other shoppers who didn’t know what was happening were laughing at them. Other shoppers reported on Facebook and Twitter that they were hiding in restrooms at Barnes and Noble.

Kristine Simon of Corona del Mar was shopping in Nordstrom when the shooting occurred. At first, she said, store employees told everyone to leave. When they realized the shooter was outside, they had everyone return inside and put down metal security doors. Simon and her daughter huddled in a dressing room with about 25 other people. Some people were crying, she said, and one little girl asked, “What if we’re stuck in here on Christmas?”

For about an hour after the incident, Macy’s was closed, and police and a sheriff’s deputy stood nearby. The entire center was not officially on lockdown during the incident, Lowe said. People are now leaving the center and can be overheard saying they were not permitted to leave for two hours.

Sections of the center’s parking lot remained cordoned off by crime tape.

The shooting was captured on video and posted several times on YouTube; click here to see.

Corona del Mar Today will update this story as information becomes available.

Bottom photo courtesy of KCAL.


9 Responses to “Suspected Fashion Island Gunman in Custody; No Shooting Victims; Witness Said “He Was Trying to Scare Us””

Comments

Ernani

December 15th, 2012

I was standing at a counter inside Macy's ready to make a purchase when I saw a wave of screaming humanity coming towards me and headed for the internal mall side entrance/exit on the mall level floor. The sad part was watching the total disregard people had for each others safety in making an orderly exit. I walked to the opposite side of the mall and observed many panicked people who were jumping into cars and driving away at high speed with no regard for safety. Wow... it was all way to frightening.

rich

December 15th, 2012

This is the best article on the incident by far. Far superior to LA times or OC register. Good job.

Robert

December 15th, 2012

The part in this article that states people were locked in the restrooms at B&N is completely false. We were on lock down in B&N yes, but noone was locked in the restrooms. Some people chose to hide in the restrooms, but noone was locked in there. I know this for fact because we were there. My wife and my 9yo son both used the restrooms while we were on lockdown.

Nancy

December 15th, 2012

Thank you for great reporting. Straight and to the point. Anyone who was in this man's line of sight should each count as an attempt to kill with a deadly weapon. Stack up as much as you can on this guy. Lil' men make me sick. This whole lil' man with a gun thing has to stop. I'm all for Texas law. We have more gun control than ever and it doesn't work.

OC man

December 15th, 2012

Better than Orange County Register? You're kidding right?

Reader

December 15th, 2012

@Ernani Really? Is that sad? The fact people were running for safety is all that matters. I am sure if you had seen a crazed gunman firing rounds you would likely run out of pure adrenaline. Good job to all who ran for safety and alerted the rest of the people.

Adam G

December 16th, 2012

Having gone through NBPD's Citizens Academy last spring, I learned our local law enforcement folks have been training for active shooter scenarios more and more. SO glad we have the amazing men and women of NBPD around to respond to this type of scenario!! Thank you, NBPD!!!

Gigi

December 16th, 2012

Great response in getting this out Amy. Thanks . You had it out first, before OCR. Thank God he didn't hit anyone!

Corona del Mar Today Staff

December 15th, 2012

Reply to

Robert

December 15, 2012

The part in this article that states people were locked in the restrooms at B&N is completely false. We were on lock down in B&N yes, but noone was locked in the restrooms. Some people chose to hide in the restrooms, but noone was locked in there. I know this for fact because we were there. My wife and my 9yo son both used the restrooms while we were on lockdown.

There was a lot of confusion. We did our best to report everything accurately.


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