Columbia Center Mall in Kennewick On Lockdown For Nearly Three Hours - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Columbia Center Mall in Kennewick On Lockdown For Nearly Three Hours

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The word got around fast Tuesday morning, after the mall shut down.

"My step dad goes for a walk everyday, he walks up Columbia Center Boulevard and back down, and when he came back he said the mall was blocked off and there were cops everywhere," said Holly Stutzman, who lives near the mall.

From 9:00 a.m. until about noon the entire mall was on lockdown and almost all the workers were evacuated.

Police still don't know how three men got inside JC Penney. There's a possibility they might have stayed there overnight. It wasn't until 2:00 a.m. that police were called.

Officers arrested 20 year old Kevin Kafiyev and his brother 21 year old Felix Kafiyev after breaking into JC Penney.

"One of the suspects was armed with a handgun, actually tried to use the handgun to shoot the door lock off a roof access door," said Sergeant Ken Lattin, from the Kennewick Police Department.

At 9:00 a.m. nearly 25 officers were still inside looking for a third man. Not sure if he's related to the brothers.

From their MySpace pages we learn they both graduated from Kennewick High School, and in several pictures they're seen carrying assault rifles.

Back at the mall many employees were still in shock.

"Something like this hasn't happened that I've been told of, you know you hear about little robberies here and there at the gas stations, but anything big like in JC Penney, this is something that happens in the big cities," said Logan Tank, a worker at the mall.

Next to the building a group of nearly 20 JC Penney employees were waiting for the search to be done.

"It won't be stopped until we're certain that we've searched every nook and cranny, and that it's safe for people to return," said Lattin.

And the go ahead was give around noon as workers made their way back, and the mall re-opened.

There were a few people inside the mall still while police were in there looking. Workers were given the option to wait outside or inside the mall.

Police are still looking for a third suspect in this burglary.