Marcos Gurrola, 42, was booked at the Orange County Jail on charges of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, Newport Beach Police Deputy Chief David McGill said. No one was hit by bullets in Saturday's shooting. One person was hurt trying to flee the scene, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
"Thank God, he pointed up," McGill said. "Luck was on our side."
Gurrola began shooting outside Macy's about 4:30 p.m., local time, and when police located him, he put his semiautomatic handgun down, placed his hands in the air, and was arrested.
Gurrola has no criminal history in California, and though he was a registered guard patrolman with the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, he appeared to be unemployed, the Times said.
McGill did not confirm reports Gurrola was living in his car, but said his vehicle had "a lot of personal items" inside.
McGill credited regular active-shooter scenario training for quick action by police and their mall security counterparts Saturday.
"It scares the heck out of me," he said. "The police -- we keep preparing and keep preparing because this makes us nervous. We can't be 100 percent prepared, but we're constantly working on it."