Moviegoers Recall Being Evacuated After Valley Mall Robbery - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Moviegoers Recall Being Evacuated After Valley Mall Robbery

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office continues to search for the man who robbed the tilt arcade with a shotgun or rifle Friday.

After the robbery, deputies evacuated the theater while they searched for the suspect because of its close proximity to the arcade. KHQ spoke to a woman who was inside the theater when it happened.

"At first I just thought someone didn't know what they were doing in the movie room, but then, when they said we needed to evacuate it got scarier," said Nicole Bucher who was watching a movie at the time. "I started thinking about the Colorado thing and thought ok, let's get out of here fast."

The Colorado thing she is referring to was the night when James Holmes opened fire in a crowded theater, killing twelve people and inuring 70 others on the opening night of the latest Batman thriller. This weekend, theaters were also full as another big movie opened.

"Oh it was packed, there were no seats left," Bucher said.

At first, Bucher did not realize how serious the threat was.

"It was just kind of freaky just being there and seeing that gun and realizing that it was serious and that they were not messing around," Bucher said.

Spokane Valley Police had the theater blocked off and everyone from the movie was filed out in one direction. Once outside though, not everyone left.

"There were a lot of people milling about outside, but I didn't think that was a good idea, so we went and waited in the car until the police told us to leave," Bucher said.

After about twenty minutes, police told everyone to go home. Moviegoers were told to come back with their ticket stubs at a later date to receive a refund.

For Bucher, her relaxing night out at the movies, turned into anything but that.

"You can't even go out and see a movie anymore without something like that, without the possibility of it happening," Bucher said.

Right now, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office is still searching for the man who robbed the arcade on Friday. They also believe he is the same person who robbed a Zip Trip earlier last week on Trent. If you have any information about either of those robberies you are asked to call crime check at 509-456-2233.

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