Shoppers rethinking North Star Mall visits after third shooting incident this year

Loss prevention officer shot in leg Tuesday by suspected shoplifters

SAN ANTONIO – A shooting Tuesday night inside a Macy’s store at North Star Mall has some shoppers rethinking whether they want to visit the shopping center again.

This is the third incident involving gunfire on the mall’s property within less than six months.

In the latest shooting, San Antonio police said a 29-year-old woman working as a loss prevention officer inside Macy’s suffered a leg wound.

Police said she confronted two people in the entryway to the store who she suspected of shoplifting.

As of Wednesday morning, police were still looking for the man and woman who ran away.

The wounded worker was taken to a hospital and is expected to be OK, police said.

“It happens everywhere but it’s unfortunate, you know, that people’s lives are in jeopardy, just to shop at the mall,” said Andrea Hatcher, who works down the street from the mall.

Hatcher, who recently moved to San Antonio from Alabama, had not heard about the shooting until Wednesday morning.

She was surprised to find out about the violence in her newly adopted home.

The shooting Tuesday night was one of three recent incidents involving gunfire at North Star.

In June, someone shot and killed Adam Glass, 33, as he sat in a barbershop inside the mall.

A little more than a month later, police said two people running away after committing a robbery shot out a glass door to make their escape.

“It’s crazy. It’s, kind of, weird for a third time in a row,” said Patrick Pile, who admits he has not visited North Star Mall in “quite a while.”

Lindsay Kahn, a spokeswoman for North Star’s parent company, Brookfield Properties, referred to all three incidents as “isolated.”

Kahn spoke to KSAT 12 News by phone from the company’s corporate office in Chicago but initially declined to issue a written statement or appear on camera.

After our story aired at noon, Kahn released this statement on behalf of Brookfield Properties:

“We are sad this incident, which was directly related to a retail theft apprehension, occurred at our property. Unfortunately, we are not immune to the increase in property crime that has been occurring in the community. We will continue to evaluate our security protocols to maintain North Star as a safe and beloved place for the community. Since this incident occurred in Macy’s, we will have to direct you to Macy’s and San Antonio Police Department for further information.”

When asked whether there are any plans for beefing up security at the mall, such as adding metal detectors, Kahn said during the phone interview that the company already has a robust security program in partnership with SAPD. However, she did add that the company is always reviewing and evaluating security.

“It’s something they need to check on, for sure, and make sure everyone’s safe when they go in there,” Pile said.

Hatcher agreed, saying that she feels she “can’t even go to the mall and shop anymore.”

A Macy’s spokesperson told KSAT that the company is “saddened about the incident that took place at Macy’s North Star Mall in San Antonio. The safety of our customers and our colleagues is our top priority.  We are working closely with the local police department on this investigation and defer all comments about the case to them.”

Additionally, the spokesperson said the colleague was transported for medical treatment and that they’re “thankful to hear she is in stable condition and recovering.”

About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.