Metro police charged a man Saturday night after he allegedly robbed two people in the Opry Mills parking lot at gunpoint.
Police said Dallas Parker approached a couple as they were walking to their car and began pulling on the female victim's purse.
When she turned to face Parker, he allegedly pulled a black handgun and stated, “Give me your purse.”
The woman complied and Parker then demanded a male victim set his belongings on a nearby car.
The victim's 13-year-old child witnessed the incident.
Parker is accused of then taking the belongings and the purse before walking away.
One victim kept an eye on Parker while another informed off-duty Metro police officers working inside the mall. Parker was arrested after a brief foot pursuit.
The black handgun reportedly used in the robbery was found inside the female victim's purse.
Parker was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, felony possession of a dangerous weapon and possession of contraband in jail.
He is being held in lieu of a $285,000 bond.
Police said he has previous unlawful gun and drug possession convictions.
“It's alarming. I had no idea that something like that would happen here,” said shopper Nicole Schmidt. “I might reconsider coming here at night and just come during the day now.”
In a statement, Opry Mills said it is “committed to the safety of our employees and shoppers with a zero tolerance for criminal behavior.”
Jad Murphy, general manager at Opry Mills, continued, “Opry Mills has a comprehensive security program, which includes working with Metro Nashville Police, a roving 24 hour security presence, CCTV cameras and ongoing employee education. We are pleased that Opry Mills security responded immediately and Metro Nashville Police apprehended a suspect.”
Parker is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning at 9 a.m.