WEST COUNTY, Colo.
— It was late Friday night when one of the mall’s owners called to report a robbery.
A woman, who identified herself only as “Toni,” told the operator she had just picked up a young girl from a playground and was headed to a store.
She said the mall was locked and the manager had been inside for about an hour.
“They were getting robbed and then the mall locked down,” Toni said.
She said she was headed home when she was approached by an employee who she said pointed a gun at her and told her to leave.
The employee told Toni that she would get her money back.
Toni told the woman to put her on the phone and tell her if she had a problem.
Toni said she told her the manager would come and pick her up.
After several attempts to call the manager, the employee said he was leaving.
Tonton said she walked back to the mall to make sure she had everything.
Then, Toni heard a gunshot.
It happened outside the store, she said.
“I don’t know why, but I started freaking out,” she said, adding that she thought the gunman was a young man.
When she saw the manager get out of his vehicle, she was sure it was him.
“He said, ‘Don’t worry, I have the money,'” Tontons father said.
“And I thought, that’s it.”
Toni told NBC News that the manager left, and she ran to the store.
At first, she didn’t see the gunman.
But then she saw him again, holding a gun.
“When I saw the guy with the gun, I just started freaking,” she recalled.
I started freaking, I started screaming, ‘Help me, help me,’ she said of her panicked reaction.
Later, she remembered the mall manager telling her to get in a chair.
And that’s when she heard the shots, Tontos father said, before running inside and calling 911.
Mall owner and mall manager, Jason Wiegand, said Tontonis story was completely fabricated.
“No matter how many times we have witnesses or the information, it’s not true,” Wiegad said.
We’re not gonna lie.
We’re going to take the best possible action.
It’s not about me, it is about the mall and the people that work there.
“Wiegand added that the mall will have more security in place this weekend, and that Tontontons parents should be able to come to the shopping center and see her.
Tonton has since gone to a counseling center and is now waiting for a new manager to be hired.