Woman carjacked at Florida Mall

Shot fired during incident, Orange County deputies say

A gunman fires a shot while carjacking a woman outside the Florida Mall in Orlando.
A gunman fires a shot while carjacking a woman outside the Florida Mall in Orlando.

ORLANDO, Fla. – A gunman fired a shot while carjacking a woman outside the Florida Mall in Orlando on Wednesday night, but no one was injured.

Orange County sheriff's deputies said the 28-year-old woman was alone and walking to a car around 9 p.m. after leaving Nordstrom's when she was approached from behind by a man brandishing a handgun.

The assailant stole the woman's purse and fled in the car, a 2009 black Toyota Corolla that belongs to the woman's boyfriend. The car has Texas tags on the front and back, reading BKP-9497, and was last seen on Sandlake Road.

"We consider (the carjacker) armed and dangerous. He carjacked this woman at gunpoint and discharged the gun during this carjacking," Orange County sheriff's Lt. Paul Hopkins said.

There are two security towers, located in the parking lots near Forever 21, and Macy's.

The carjacking happened out of the line of sight of either tower.

Rossie Hernandez thinks more manned towers near the busy stores will prevent crime in the parking lot.

"That's what, its supposed to be meant for that, to have somebody in there watching around the mall, and if they don't have any person in there, that's a lack of security," she said.

Local 6 reached out to, Brian Hanson, General Manager of the mall, he sent us this statement:

"At The Florida Mall, our primary concern is always for the safety and security of our customers and employees. Our security approach incorporates technology, active patrols and other methods to provide a safe and secure shopping environment for our employees and mall guests. This incident is under investigation and we suggest contacting the Orange County Sheriff's Office for additional information."

Hanson wouldn't directly answer if the towers are ever manned, or if they were last night.

Lauren Peters works near the mall and was surprised to hear about the carjacking.

"Late at night, it's pretty scary to know that somebody could be watching me," she said.

The carjacker was wearing a red shirt and blue jeans. He had one gold tooth and was missing a tooth, deputies said.

A statewide alert has been issued to help track down the assailant.

Anyone with information about the carjacking is urged to call the Sheriff's Office or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.

Watch Local 6 News and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates on this story.