MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – A shooting incident in Robinsons Galleria, Quezon City left one person dead and 5 others injured, causing panic and heavy traffic in the mall vicinity Thursday, March 29, various reports said.
The shooting incident took place in connection with a robbery, dzMM reported earlier.
Two armed men apparently knew of the routine of Security Bank's roving tellers, who just arrived in the mall to deliver cash to money changers when the attack took place.
The robbers broke into the mall upon seeing the 2 tellers with their 2 guards. They fired at the 4 before leaving the area on a motorycle, according to police accounts.
Robinsons Galleria public divisions chief Rose-Ann Villegas told reporters that the shooting incident took place before mall hours.
The lone fatality was identified as one of the security escorts for Security Bank.
Despite the incident, Villegas said the mall's security measures are “very strong right now.” “The response team (was) very quick. In a matter of 15 minutes, we were able to respond (in the scene).”
A statement of Robinsons management sent via text said: "At least 2 armed men tried to rob the roving tellers of Security Bank at around 10 am. Police authorities responded to the alarm, which is part of the mall security set-up, within 15 minutes. Mall was closed for a few hours after the incident and has since re-opened to the public."
Villegas said the mall had CCTV cameras in the area, and the police will use the CCTV footage in their investigation.
She also thanked the Quezon City police and the Metro Manila Development Authority for their cooperation.
Reports quoted witnesses as saying they heard an explosion and an "exchange of shots."
A witness who spoke with ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, described the incident as an “exchange” of shots. “Hindi lang siya normal na pagputok. Maraming pagputok talaga,” she said. (It wasn't an ordinary shot. It was a succession of shots.)
Screen grab from GMA News TV
"Robinsons Galleria" was the 6th Twitter trending topic worldwide as of noon. It is the 3rd trending topic in the Philippines.
The Philippine National Police has ordered the police chief of Quezon City, Chief Supt Mario Dela Vega, to lead a special investigation task force that will look into the incident.
"There may have been operational and procedural lapses somewhere, but we do not want to engage in any fault-finding at the moment because we want to focus our efforts on the immediate solution of the case with the arrest of the suspects," said PNP spokesman Chief Supt Agrimero Cruz. – Rappler.com