Gunshots rang out inside the Mall of Asia in Pasay City Sunday night and there were reports that a gang of robbers had broken into a jewelry shop inside the sprawling shopping center.
Based on witnesses’ accounts, the gunshots came from the back part of the mall and occurred at about 7:30 p.m.
“My family and I were eating at Shakey’s,” a 26-year-old woman who asked not to be identified told The Manila Times.
“We were just getting our orders when we heard the shot, then a man ran inside Shakey’s and he was holding a gun,” the woman said. “Then people started running. . . there was a commotion. I don’t really know what happened.”
She said she grabbed her four-year-old daughter and began to crawl on the ground. “We heard glasses breaking but I kept on crawling until I got out,” she said.
The daughter had a bruise and a cut on her left knee from the shattered glass inside the restaurant.
The woman’s husband told The Times they were from Cebu and that it was their first visit to the mall.
“My baby kept crying. I think she was traumatized by the whole thing,” the man said.
Security guards locked down the mall, and prevented people from leaving. They also confiscated the cameras of some of the patrons.
One policeman, who refused to be identified, told The Times that the robbery suspects were probably members of the Martilyo Gang, which is notorious for holding up jewelry stores and pawnshops.
Subsequent radio reports also pointed to the Martilyo Gang as having carried out the robbery at MOA.
SM malls Vice President for Operations Steve Tan confirmed that Martilyo Gang was behind the incident. On his tweet at SM Supermalls official account on Twitter, Tan said “At 7:14pm this evening the martilyo gang had struck a jewelry counter at The SM Store in MOA. The police are already present in the area to conduct a thorough investigation. The mall is working closely with the pnp to resolve this.”
Police said two of seven suspects had been arrested. One of them had taken a hostage and the other was cornered inside the pizza parlor.
FATIMA CIELO CANCEL