LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 68-year-old tourist from New Zealand was struck and killed by a car during a botched robbery at an upscale mall in a popular Southern California beach city south of Los Angeles, police said.

Violence broke out Tuesday afternoon at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island mall when two men, one with a gun, tried to rob a woman and her husband at a Barnes and Noble store, Newport Beach police Sgt. Steven Oberon said at a news conference.

The woman was dragged into the street by one of the suspects and killed by a third man driving a white sedan, Oberon said, adding that the three men then fled in the sedan.

The woman was identified by police Wednesday as Patricia McKay, 68, who was visiting from New Zealand.

Newport Beach police officers pursued the three suspects in the white sedan onto an interstate and eventually arrested the men.

Police said one of the suspects fired his gun three times during the robbery, but no one was struck.

New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon called the killing “an absolute tragedy” in a radio interview Thursday. Luxon knew McKay’s husband, former bank chairman Doug McKay, very well, he said.

“He’s a great man and it’s a great family. … I think the family will be in huge shock and all our thoughts and prayers are with them,” Luxon told Newstalk ZB.

Without identifying Patricia McKay by name, a spokesperson for New Zealand’s Foreign Ministry said in an emailed statement that consular officials were providing assistance to the family of a citizen killed in Newport Beach.


Associated Press reporter Charlotte Graham-McLay in Wellington, New Zealand, contributed to this report.

Brought to you by www.srnnews.com