Toy gun used in Arrowhead Towne Center scarePosted: Updated:
GLENDALE -- Newly released court documents show that a woman accused of shoplifting from a Sears store actually used a toy gun, not a real one, to threaten a security officer. That incident sparked a shooting.
At about 12:15 p.m. Friday, police responded to a report of shots fired at Arrowhead Towne Center near 75th Avenue and Bell Road in Glendale.
Michael John Hough, 35 and his wife, 33-year-old Shaashana Marie Hough, 33, had allegedly entered the Sears store and tried to shoplift a DeWalt drill.
An unarmed loss-prevention officer approached them as they reportedly exited the store from the upper level.
As the loss-prevention officer tried to detain them, Shaashana Hough allegedly drew a handgun from a backpack and pointed it at the officer. Police now say it was a toy gun.
It was initially reported that she fired the gun. However, police later determined a man who was waiting in the parking lot shot at the suspects.
Mervin Brewer, a 61-year-old man who has served in the United States Marine Corps, said he fired shots to protect himself, his wife and the loss-prevention officer.
The officer was not harmed.
The couple allegedly fled the scene on a motorcycle, which detectives later recovered from an apartment complex in the 17600 block of North 79th Avenue.
Detectives reviewed surveillance footage from the mall and followed investigative leads to identify and locate the suspects.
The Houghs were booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail. Shaashana Hough faces charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault, and Michael Hough faces armed robbery and theft charges. They have both since made their first appearances in court.
According to the arrest report, Shaashana told police she keeps the authentic-looking toy gun for protection on the streets.
Neighbors in the Houghs' Prescott Valley neighborhood said they're not entirely surprised to learn what happened since there was often trouble at the couple's house. In fact, one neighbor jokingly refer to their house as a "police substation" because of how often police were called to the residence.
Michael Hough has lived in the house for 11 years. Shaashana has lived there for two.
One neighbor who didn't want to be identified claimed Michael ripped off her friend by taking money to fix a car and never doing the work.