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This article was published 8/9/2018 (1134 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Police chased an armed man through CF Polo Park on Friday before tackling the suspect in a parking lot outside the Hudson’s Bay store.
One witness said she had a fleeting encounter as the suspect raced past the socks, scarves and jewelry, before he sprinted past the cosmetics and out of sight.
"I saw this man, he was running and he was carrying garden clippers and I said to him, ‘Is there anything, sir, I can help you with, today?’" the witness said. "I’m very polite," she added.
"He’s running and he turned around and said, ‘No, thank you.’"
"I’m looking at him, he’s got garden clippers and I’m seeing the clippers and thinking, ‘We don’t sell clippers. I have the same ones at home.’"
The clerk put her greeting down to customer training. Those "garden clippers" were, in fact, bolt cutters.
Hot on his heels, she said, were two police officers running after him. One officer raced by her carrying a weapon that she said looked like an assault rifle.
Winnipeg police confirmed they responded to a report of a man armed with what looked like a firearm around 10:30 a.m. Officers spotted a man running into the mall and chased him, tackling him in the parking lot. It’s possible the officers had their weapons drawn, in response to the potential threat, police said.
At the Bay, multiple witnesses said police tackled the suspect outside the store in the parking lot along St. James Street.
Police said they seized a black handgun-style pellet gun and bolt cutters as they took the suspect into custody.
One witness said the potential threat didn’t hit home until afterward.
"This is retail, for heaven’s sake. I could have stepped in front of him. I could have been knocked down. Or worse," the witness said.
There have been accounts of police pursuing suspects in the mall over the years, but not through the Bay store. The incident follows recent violence at Toronto’s Yorkdale mall.
"It’s scary, like what happened in Toronto," a worker said.
York Regional Police charged a 20-year-old man after reports of gunfire outside Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Aug. 30.
In Winnipeg, no one was hurt.
Police said they believe the suspect had first stolen a pair of shoes from a nearby business, then went to a second store and tried using bolt cutters to steal a bicycle. Someone there confronted him, he fled and police arrived.
By mid-afternoon, a 22-year-old Winnipeg man faced various weapons and theft charges in connection with the incident.