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Hostage-Taking Shoplifter Shot and Killed at Woodbridge Sears

A reported shoplifter who took a hostage was killed at Sears in Woodbridge Center late this afternoon.

A would-be shoplifter who was shot and killed today by an off-duty policeman at in caused over a dozen to fly to the mall and seal off the crime scene today.

The alleged shoplifter, who was reportedly caught by store security on the second floor of the Sears store, fought back when he was apprehended around 5 p.m., a mall source said.

The shoplifter then grabbed a nearby female shopper and held her at knifepoint. An off-duty police officer who was shopping in the store allegedly shot and killed the shoplifter, the source said. News12 later reported that the off-duty officer was a Woodbridge police officer.

The hostage was unharmed.

By 5:30 p.m., at least a dozen marked and unmarked Woodbridge police cars had swarmed around the Sears store, sealing off both entrances. The store was immediately closed, said Dave Albertson of Woodbridge Center's mall management.

Mall personnel were shooing away shoppers who approached the store to find it covered with policemen and police vehicles.

"What's going on?" said one shopper, who was turned away from the store. "They told me the store will be closed for the rest of the night."

People in the Route 1 and 9 area called news sources to find out what all the police cars were doing, flying down the highway toward the mall.

Albertson said he and other Woodbridge Center managers were waiting outside the store while the police processed the crime scene. At 6 pm, the body of the shoplifter, who was unidentified as of this writing, was still in the store.

This story will be updated as new information is received.

derek March 09, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Wow, how horrible for all those involved. There are many things that go on in malls that are not reported but this is beyond. I hope there is NO backlash about this off duty officer jumping in and doing what unfortunately needed to be done in the heat of the moment. In a perfect world it wouldn't have to happen, we're not there yet obviously. My husband works in a mall in North Jersey and there's theft and violence every day.....this is beyond...

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