By Lauren Williams
8:50 PM PST, December 15, 2012
A gunman at Fashion Island in Newport Beach allegedly fired more than 50 rounds in a parking lot at the busy shopping mall before he was apprehended by police, authorities said Saturday.
Marcos Gurrola, a 42-year-old Garden Grove resident, was arrested in the parking lot near the Macy's department store shortly after firing the shots about 4:30 p.m., said Kathy Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department. Officers on bike patrol apprehended the man, who apparently was trying to get into a white Volvo at the time of his arrest, Lowe said.
Police searched the mall but did not find anyone who had been struck by the gunfire. The shots were apparently fired either in the air or at the ground.
More than 50 rounds were recovered at the scene, Deputy Chief David McGill said. A handgun was recovered at the scene, but police did not reveal any more details about the weapon.
The mall, which was crowded with holiday shoppers at the time of the shooting, was not locked down, but individual stores may have been, Lowe said.
Many shoppers posted messages on Facebook and Twitter saying they were locked inside stores.
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, referring to Friday's school massacre in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman was responsible for 28 deaths. "It was like crazy, people leaving stores."
Ann Butcher, an employee at Macy's, said she was on the patio at Whole Foods Market 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 exit the bookstore and head 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.
Los Angeles Times staff writer Rosanna Xia contributed to this report.