OKLAHOMA CITY - As police search for suspects in an armed robbery that occurred in the Penn Square Mall parking lot, one of the alleged victims is speaking out about the terrifying ordeal.
"Everything went fast," said the victim, who did not want to be identified. "I just knew, to myself, I needed to stay calm in the situation before anything did happen."
Though it all happened fast, the man clearly remembers the tense moments after walking out of Dillard's. He and a teenager were walking to his vehicle when he said they were ambushed by two masked men.
"Pointed the gun at me, pointed the gun at the minor as they were instructing us to empty our pockets," he said.
The victim said he complied, giving them cash and anything they asked for, knowing it wasn't just his own life at stake.
"I just needed to do what I needed to do to just protect him in the situation," he said.
The victim said the two men searched his vehicle and then took off in a black 4-door Kia Sorento.
Looking back, he said he remembers seeing the suspects in the mall with another man and three women. He now believes they may have been followed to the parking lot.
"It's an eye-opener for me to pay more attention to my surroundings, especially at nighttime and especially around the holiday season because this stuff does tend to happen around the holiday season," he said.
Police said, although it can be a dangerous time, there are ways to lessen your chances of becoming a victim.
"The best advice is to be aware of your surroundings," said Oklahoma City Police Officer Megan Morgan. "Remember where you parked if you go into a parking lot. Women, keep your purses close to your body. Try to keep your purse on the side of you that is closest to the cars when you're walking through the parking lot, and always have a buddy with you."
Police add that the victims did the right thing by complying with the robbers.
"It's just material stuff, it can be replaced so I'm just thankful that we are alive and that it was God's grace that protected us during the situation," the victim said.
Police hope to release surveillance pictures of the suspects soon so someone can help identify them.
News 4 has been in contact with Penn Square Mall communications officials about the incident and sent us this statement:
“We are committed to providing a safe and secure shopping environment for our shoppers, retailers and employees. We have a number of proactive security measures in place, both seen and unseen, including maintaining a continuous security patrol of our property and parking lots. We are grateful for the swift response to this incident by our security team and the Oklahoma City Police Department. As this is a police matter, all further inquiries should be directed to the Oklahoma City Police Department.”