Culture&Arts

Suspect showed fake weapon in officer-involved shooting at The Parks Mall

Suspect showed fake weapon in officer-involved shooting at The Parks Mall

Security personnel and Arlington police were following William Paul Dodd, 21, about 4:20 p.m. Sunday after he stole two pairs of Ray-Ban's from the Sunglass Hut in The Parks at Arlington mall, police Lt. Christopher Cook said. It all started when police say the man stole sunglasses from a store. When the officer got there, the suspect took off running, and the officer followed. As the suspect ran towards the second level of the food court area, he produced an imitation or replica gun, causing the officer to fire his weapon. He remains in the hospital in critical condition, Cook said.

The mall was placed on lockdown, then evacuated and closed for the day. He told operators that he was at Stovall Park and reiterated he had a gun and would shoot police if they came near him.

"There's just no training in the world that will afford an officer the ability to distinguish what is real and what is fake in the heat of the moment", he said.

On the second call returned to Dodd, the operator tried to get identifying information from him but Dodd had changed his mind and refused to turn himself in.

An hour later is when they received the theft call at The Parks Mall. Cook said if police can arrest the suspect on a later date, they prefer not to put the driving public at risk. He did note that Dodd had been charged with filing a false police report in September after reporting to police he had been shot in a drive-by shooting.

"You can not ever distinguish between a real or an imitation firearm".


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