FREMONT, Calif. – Fremont police arrested five people, including one 17-year-old, whom they say fired off shots into the air and stole video games on Black Friday from a Target store at the Hub shopping center.
“I saw near the back side of the store, some sound was happening,” said Karuppaih Ramiah, who was inside the store at the time of the crime and returned Friday to shop some more. “Everyone was shouting. And then we started running.”
Spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said the shoplifting and gunfire was reported Thursday at 11:38 p.m. outside Target on Fremont Boulevard, which was set to close at midnight.
The suspects had gotten into a fight with security guards just outside the store after they had been confronted about stealing merchandise Bosques said.
They walked out of the store with a shopping cart full of items including several PS4 game consoles, Bosques said. Everything scattered on the ground when they got into the scuffle with security guards who were waiting outside for them. One suspect picked up a PS4 game station console and ran to the car. Bosques said it was later found in the vehicle.
At that point, the suspects’ friends drove up in a getaway car and that’s when one of them fired multiple rounds in the air, Bosques said, before they took off in a silver Volkswagen. No one was injured.
A witness at the store told police which direction the car took off in and police spotted it at Mowry Avenue and Glenview Drive in Fremont. One suspect jumped out of the car and eventually all five were arrested at Central Avenue and Cedar Boulevard in Newark, police said. The rest of the suspects are 18- and 19-years-old.
Fremont police said the suspects were booked and the stolen merchandise, as well as the loaded gun, was recovered. Police spent the night collecting evidence, which included picking up several shell casings.
On Friday morning, Target spokeswoman Jenna Rack said in an email that the store “immediately” called police after the shoplifting attempt and they closed the store for the rest of the night. Target has also provided police with the video surveillance inside the store to help with the investigation. The store reopened as normal at 7 a.m.
Shoppers went on social media to report the shooting, and the commotion that was caused.
Michelle Houston, who shopped at the Target on Friday, said she just wishes the violence would stop.
“I wish for the holidays we could find a way to have a little bit more of the positive spirit,” she said. “That is what is all supposed to be about.”