Shoppers impressed with security, police, following smash & grab

The scene at Memorial City Mall Sunday evening was vastly different from Saturday night.

"The worst can happen, even here in Houston we have had a couple of events with active shooters, I think it's probably wise to take precautions but there is obviously a risk because if people panic and start running it could cause injuries," says Andy Rennie who brought his two daughters to the mall.

At about 7:45 p.m. Saturday, folks were seen running out of stores or taking shelter. Many inside the mall thought they heard gun shots, but police confirmed it was a smash and grab. A male suspect attempted to steal and break a case at Ben Bridge Jewelers, but was unsuccessful.

"You're going to expect that people are going to tweet stuff out and if they heard what they did with the hammer smashing the glass I could understand why it went out the way it did," says assistant police chief James Jones with the Houston Police Department.

Dozens of units responded within minutes.

"As you can imagine when we get an active shooter at Memorial City Mall during Christmas, we are going to send out all kinds of units, we had SWAT out here, we were searching the building, patrol was out here, we had different agencies out here," says assistant chief Jones.

We talked to folks out at the mall who say even though they were not there when it happened, they believe the situation was handled correctly and that they felt safe to be there.

"We see security walking around all the time when we are walking around the food court, they are doing a good job. I'm very surprised that happened here and I hope they catch the perpetrator," says Al Hartman, out at the mall with his friend.

"We feel safe and certainly the way they reacted seemed like the right thing even if something does happen," says Rennie.

Assistant chief Jones says, "you know all and all I think it was well done and we had it cleared, pretty close to an hour later we had determined the suspect was gone and actually that no shots were fired."

The man got away. Police say he's about 5'10" and weights between 230 to 250 pounds. He was seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue pants with stripes. He also has a beard.