TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Police Department received the 911 call just after 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16 about an armed robbery in the 3900 block of South 6th, near Ajo Way.
Officers from the South Division responded, though the suspects were gone by the time they arrived on scene.
According to TPD spokesman, Sgt. Pete Dugan, the church had been holding a woman's group meeting with 30 to 50 attendees, when five suspects entered the building wearing masks and armed with guns, telling everyone to get on the ground.
Several victims received minor injuries, as they were too slow to get on the floor and the suspects pushed them to the ground to comply. TPD said the suspects demanded at gunpoint that the women give up their purses, speaking in both Spanish and English.
The purses were collected, according to TPD and the five suspects left the scene in at least two cars.
"It all happened so fast. There was no time for anything. Everyone just started running towards the back of the room and I remember seeing just three men, their face was covered and that's all I could remember," said one of the victims, who asked to remain anonymous.
She went on to explain what was happening, how when she ran to the back of the room she fell and scraped her knee.
"I just remember hearing all the ladies cry, scream, and it was scary. To be honest I was scared for my mom and my grandma," said the victim.
The suspects are believed to young men, in their late teens to early 20s. TPD officials do not believe this was gang related or a targeted "hate crime", as the meeting was faith based.
Several of the victims, who were scared, left the scene before police arrived and TPD is asking that they come forward and call a special phone number has been established to take those calls in both Spanish and English. The phone is not monitored 24/7, but a detective will return your call if you leave a message. The phone number is (520) 589-8846.
As always, if you have information about the incident, you are encouraged to call 88-CRIME. You CAN remain anonymous.