GLENDALE, Ariz. — When shots rang out at Westgate Wednesday evening, there were no Glendale Police officers on site.
The Westgate Entertainment District has private unarmed security guards, a common practice for businesses and malls.
But the shooting may prompt concerns about whether Glendale Police should have a closer presence to the busy complex of restaurants, shops and office buildings.
According to Glendale Police, from the time the first 911 call went out, five minutes passed before officers arrived.
During that five minutes, the shooter roamed the premises, randomly firing shots and peacefully surrendering in the west parking lot. Stewart acknowledged the 5-minute response time may have seemed long for those at Westgate.
“For a five minute response time, you have to keep in mind everything that’s involved in a call,” Stewart said. “First of all, our 911 was flooded with 911 calls. They have to take that information, dictate that to dispatchers who dispatch that information.”
Stewart said the officers who receive that information could have been facing traffic at 7 p.m. and then had to navigate through Westgate to locate the suspect.
“Understanding that would be a long time for some people on scene but that was actually a very quick response,” Stewart said.
12 News asked a spokesperson for Westgate how often armed police officers patrol the complex.
Director of Communications Amber Liptai tells 12 News they are deeply saddened by the incident and their thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
“Westgate will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and questions should be directed to the Glendale Police Department,” Liptai said.