OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Johnson County district attorney filed a number of charges against a suspected shoplifter who allegedly shot a gun inside Oak Park Mall in Overland Park on Sunday.
According to court documents, Nery Alberto Gonzalez-Munoz faces nine charges, ranging from assaulting a law enforcement officer to child endangerment.
Investigators said Gonzalez-Munoz allegedly shoplifted and, as he and another suspect tried to leave near the mall food court, undercover detectives confronted them.
That’s when police said one of the suspects resisted arrest, leading to a struggle, and the suspect was able to grab one of the detective’s guns, pulling the trigger and firing one gunshot inside the mall.
The gunshot didn’t hit anyone, and officers arrested both suspects.
Gonzalez-Munoz faces the following charges:
- Two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer
- Interference with law enforcement, fleeing
- Aggravatedly endangering a child
- Battery on a law enforcement officer
- Carrying concealed weapon
- Unlawful discharge of a firearm
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said the other alleged shoplifter is a juvenile.
“Well, if you do that in Johnson County and you resist arrest, and you use a weapon,” Howe said. “You’ve guaranteed yourself a trip to the Johnson County jail.”
“We don’t write tickets and let people go, but instead, we lock them up,” Howe said, “that’s the best thing for our communities, as far as protecting our citizens, it’s the best thing for our business community, who are being taken advantage of.”
From Oak Park Mall to the Plaza Julie Steuber said shoplifting seems to be happening more across the Kansas City metro.
“It’s terrifying,” Steuber said. “It makes me not want to go shopping outside of anywhere.”
Steuber said she’ll sit out this year on department store shopping.
She has a message for the shooter.
“It’s like, you’re caught, let it go, move on, take your charges. Now you’ve made it 100 times worse for yourself and you endangered the lives of people and you took their security away,” Steuber said.
“You didn’t just endanger your lives, they robbed you of your security of even being able to go to the mall and this is a big time of year to be going to the mall.”
Gonzalez-Munoz’s asked the judge to lower his bond.
After the state said there’s a public safety risk, unsolicited chatter from Gonzales-Munoz’s family in the gallery and Gonzales Munoz putting in his own two-cents, the judge said no.
“What is alleged to be a rather low amount of theft, turned into thankfully could have been death of one or more individuals,” the judge said. “So, with that, the request for relief on bond is denied.”
Gonzalez-Munoz will be back in court next week.
As for the other alleged shoplifter, Howe said charges are pending and a court date will be set for that case in the near future.