TOWSON (WJZ) – A very tense situation unfolded on Wednesday afternoon in the heart of Towson. An armed robbery took place inside a popular toy store and several people were inside.
Mike Hellgren has more on the suspect and how this situation was resolved.
Just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday police surrounded the Toys R Us in Towson moments after getting a report of a man with a gun inside.
The Baltimore County Police Chief says when the 45-year-old suspect saw the first officer he ran back inside the store and tried to hide.
“I never ever think of where I go, so coming here, I mean it’s scary. It makes me think I don’t want to go back out at night,” said Tamara Idlibi.
Several people inside Toys R Us were sheltered in place for almost two frightening hours. What they did not know is that police were using police sophisticated technology to monitor the gunman’s every move until they felt it was safe to make their move. He was taken into custody without incident.
“There were customers inside the facility that were able to get out, employees that were able to get out, but we also know that there were several individuals that could not exit, or at least they felt that it was not safe to do so. Sometimes based upon the situation sheltering in place is the best choice,” said Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson.
Another commercial robbery in the area just a week ago already put shoppers here on edge.
“Overall it’s a safe area so it’s kind of surprising to see this happening and this is our second time witnessing something crazy like this,” said Wajiha Addallah.
Police say no hostages were ever taken, the entire ordeal ended without a single shot fired.
“An extraordinary quick response from one of our fine officers, within minutes we had over a dozen police officers at that location securing the entire perimeter of the structure,” said Johnson.
While there were no physical injuries two people were taken to the hospital because of stress related to what happened here. Police also swept the Toys R Us looking for other suspects and weapons, but found nothing.
The suspect will have a bail set later tonight, his identity is still unknown at this time.
This story has been updated to reflect the correct information about the suspect’s age. Previously, Baltimore County Police reported his age as 25.