Surveillance video shows the moment a scuffle inside an Oceanside Target turned into a shooting Thursday, sending people scrambling to the floor.
Oceanside Police say the security video, obtained by NBC 7, shows a loss prevention officer leading suspect Dennis Lam to the front of the store, along with someone who appears to be his alleged accomplice Ana Molina. The officer is on the radio.
The scuffle between a second Target employee and Lam begins off camera. It lasts only 10 seconds before witnesses say Lam reached into his bag, pulled out a gun and fired at the floor.
Later in the video, a revolver is shown in his right hand. The second shot comes almost on top of the other.
Melinda Humbert and her two children can be seen backing away as the scrum came toward them. They were just a few feet from the gunshots.
“It was scary. It could have been really, really bad. Thankfully it didn't end up that way,” Humbert said.
The shots scatter everyone for a time. It is just long enough for the suspect to return and grab the phone he had dropped, the video shows.
When NBC 7 visited Molina's residence, no one came to the door, but a neighbor verifies Molina lives in a Carlsbad apartment with her mother and children, just six miles from the Target store.
Police say both Lam and Molina to escaped in a 7-series BMW, which California Highway Patrol chased before the couple bailed out of it and stole a truck from another man. They were arrested a short time later.
Orange County sheriff's investigators say the two were connected to armed robberies late last month in Yorba Lind. If convicted on all crimes, the penalty could be a long time behind bars.
According to police, Lam stole an iPad stylus pen from Target, but not on his first trip into the store. On his first visit, the suspect legitimately purchased a cellphone. The price of the stylus was $53.