Southern California authorities continued to investigate Wednesday after a man allegedly shot a woman to death in Kohl’s department store in Los Angeles County Tuesday night, just days before Christmas, during an alleged domestic incident and fled the scene.
There was a large police presence Tuesday night in the Whittwood Town Center in the town of Whittier, located about 200 miles southeast of Los Angeles, after police received reports of gunfire. The shooting occurred inside Kohls around 5:30 p.m.
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Witnesses told police that a man and woman were discussing in the cash registers when the man pulled out a gun and shot her. He then reportedly left the store before officers could come to arrest him, Newsweek reported.
First responders attended a woman lying on the floor inside the store, but she did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene, Fox 11 reported. The public was asked to stay away from the area, the Whittier Police Department said in a Facebook update on Tuesday night.
Police believe the suspect fled the scene and possibly left a silver Nissan, KABC reported.
“It appears that a man and a woman were in some form of verbal trouble inside Kohl’s and at some point the male produced a gun, shot the woman and fled the scene,” Whittier officer Hugo Figueroa told reporters at the scene. “We think it’s domestic violence, but we do not know what the relationship between the man and the woman is.”
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The victim has been publicly identified only as a 45-year-old Hispanic woman. No suspect has been publicly appointed by authorities.
The police department told Fox News by phone on Wednesday morning that the investigation continued and that more information could not be shared right now. The officer on duty declined to answer if the suspect was still there.
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Those who were shopping at the time of the incident described a chaotic scene after several shots were fired, according to Fox 11. The store alarm went off and people began to flee, leaving clothes and other items strewn across the floor. The shooter left after shooting the woman and therefore there was no ongoing active shooting situation when shoppers were evacuated.