The Parks Mall at Arlington closes after shooting

The Parks Mall at Arlington closes after shooting

Two uniformed Arlington police officers initially responded.

A police officer shot and wounded a man suspected of stealing from a store at The Parks at Arlington mall Sunday afternoon.

A suspected shoplifter was shot by a police officer at a busy mall after allegedly reaching for a replica handgun.

The department's Chris Cook said it's too hard for an officer to differentiate a real versus a fake gun during a pursuit.

The suspect is in critical condition at the hospital. The Parks Mall has closed so please avoid the area. Police didn't pursue him in that case since they recognized Dodd after running his license plate number. On Friday, he was involved in a vehicle evasion when a police officer attempted to stop him for a traffic violation. He did note that Dodd had been charged with filing a false police report in September after reporting to police he had been shot in a drive-by shooting.

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An hour later is when they received the theft call at The Parks Mall. In the brief call with a 911 operator, Dodd said he was a suspect in an evading arrest call.

"There's just no training in the world that will afford an officer the ability to distinguish what is real and what is fake in the heat of the moment", he said.

Cook also cautioned against the use of imitation firearms.

Cook said the department has seen imitation weapons circulating for quite some time and "serious conversations as a society need to be had as to why the imitations look so real, including talks directly with manufacturers".

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