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Suspects allegedly run over 68-year-old tourist after robbing her outside Newport Beach mall

By Matthew Rodriguez, Michele Gile

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    NEWPORT, California (KCAL/KCBS) — A group of suspects led police on a cross-county pursuit after allegedly opening fire and running over and killing a woman at the Fashion Island Mall.

Newport Police Department detectives said the incident started at about 3:30 p.m. when the suspects robbed a 68-year-old woman from New Zealand and her husband outside the Barnes and Noble. The suspects then jumped into a white car and ran over the woman, killing her.

Officers said the suspects then opened fire as they drove away.

“I’m horrified. I’m mourning the loss of someone who died inside of our city because of crime … This is a tragedy and I’m furious,” said Newport Beach City Mayor Will O’Neill.

The Newport Beach Fire Department said when they arrived at the area, they found a person dead in the parking lot just outside of the shopping center’s Barnes and Noble.

“These are thugs and every community is now dealing with this,” O’Neill said. “We have to do better as a society because we cannot tolerate this.”

Witnesses said they heard three to four gunshots before everyone tried to find cover. Officers asked residents to avoid the area while they continued their investigation.

“I expected to go and fix my sunglasses,” shopper Rachel West said. “I didn’t know that there was going to be a crime scene and dead body when I got here.”

Authorities started chasing the alleged suspects shortly after the shooting. The car led police into Los Angeles County after a pair of suspects jumped out near Los Alamitos.

The suspects hit 110 mph while on the westbound 105 Freeway. After exiting the freeway, two more men jumped out of the car and started running around a nearby South Gate neighborhood.

Police found one of the suspects hiding behind trash cans at a nearby house.

Officers located and arrested three suspects, including the one found hiding behind trash cans in South Gate.

On Tuesday, police said the woman was 69, but a day later, she was identified as a 68-year-old woman from New Zealand.

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