Off-duty Phoenix officer shot at shoplifting suspect at Laveen Walmart; security footage released

An investigation is underway after a Phoenix police officer reportedly shot at a shoplifting suspect at a Walmart in Laveen.

For hours after the shooting, police and employees stood in the parking lot while crime scene tape and police vehicles were seen outside the Walmart near 35th Avenue and Southern.

According to officers, the incident began at around 11:00 a.m.

"There was an officer working in an off-duty capacity in full uniform when he was alerted that there was a shoplifter inside the store," said Sgt. Phil Krynsky with the Phoenix Police Department.

According to a statement, the suspect, identified as 35-year-old David Apana, was trying to conceal items inside the store. It is unknown what items Apana allegedly took.

"The officer and the loss prevention employee waited for Apana by an exit. When Apana approached the exit, the loss prevention employee stopped and talked to him," read a portion of the statement.

"The shoplifter pulled out a firearm, pointed it at both the Loss Prevention employee and officer, and that’s when the officer-involved shooting occurs," said Sgt. Krynsky.

Investigators say the bullets didn't strike the suspect. The suspect then ran out of the store and into a nearby neighborhood. Homeowners who did not want to be on camera confirmed to us that the suspect was found inside their horse trailer in the front yard.

Apana is accused of multiple offenses, including aggravated assault on a police officer and armed robbery.

Customers react

The incident shocked regular customers.

"It’s usually really quiet, man. I’ve never heard of somebody shooting someone out here," said Richard Verzoza.

"All I heard was there were, like, shots. Like, people and stuff in there come running out and stuff like that" said one shopper, identified only as ‘Sophia.’ "Very crazy, because it's not typical for that to happen here."

We have reached out to Walmart's corporate office on this matter, and they released a statement in response, which reads:

"We are troubled by what happened this morning in our store in Phoenix and are glad no customers or associates were injured. We’ll continue working closely with local law enforcement on their investigation."

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A crowd of Walmart employees stand outside the store.

Location of the Walmart: