One suspect is dead after a robbery Monday at a T-Mobile retail store in the Killeen Marketplace shopping center along U.S. Highway 190, according to Killeen police spokeswomen Ofelia Miramontez.
Killeen police responded to a robbery call at 4:14 p.m. and chased a suspect who was running away from the business. Gunshots were exchanged, police said.
An officer was transported to the hospital for minor injuries. The officer was not shot, Miramontez said.
The robbery suspect was not identified.
Katlyn Wahl, a resident who was shopping in DD’s Discounts near the store, said she heard at least six gunshots fired in the vicinity of the store in the 3200 block of U.S. Highway 190. Her mother, Tanya Ellis, was waiting for her in the parking lot, and saw police chasing a man with a backpack about the same time gunshots were heard.
“I heard bam, bam, bam, bam, with the guns, and I got out of this parking lot, and I called her, and told her that they need to lock the doors up,” Ellis said.
Businesses in the area, including Mattress Firm, Jersey Mike’s and MOD Pizza, were all on lockdown, but reopened as of 6 p.m., according to Kevin McCain, an employee at Jersey Mike’s.
A nearby Home Depot remained open. All of the other businesses in that shopping center were closed as of 6 p.m., and the vehicles in the parking lot will remain in the parking lot, Miramontez said.
Best Buy loss prevention officers were pulling video surveillance from outside the store, according to Killeen police. The Texas Rangers have been called in to investigate, Miramontez said.
About 15 minutes after the foot chase, an officer holding police tape stood over a royal blue button-down shirt. The shirt was about 110 feet from the front doors of Best Buy.
Officers approached several people who tried to get into their cars and leave, and interviewed them before they took off.
This robbery attempt comes just 11 days after members of the business community met at Killeen Police Headquarters for a forum to discuss the best business practices for crime prevention.
The event was put on by City Councilman Gregory Johnson, and took place just a few hours after a 1st National Bank on U.S. 190 was robbed.
Robberies have been an ongoing problem throughout the city. On Feb. 26, security officer William Petty was shot and killed during a robbery attempt of a Subway restaurant open 24 hours a day. On March 22, another 24-hour Subway was robbed at gunpoint by two people. During the week of Johnson’s forum, there were at least three robberies in Killeen. On April 11, the Oriental Cafe on Greenlee Drive was robbed and just a day earlier, a 7-Eleven convenience store on Willow Springs Road was robbed.
A previous version of this story stated that Home Depot was closed during the investigation. The Herald regrets the error.