Police say they have arrested a teen suspect in connection to a shooting that left eight people injured at a suburban Milwaukee shopping mall Friday.
According to authorities, the 15-year-old was taken into custody this weekend in connection with the incident, which occurred after an altercation between two groups near the entrance of a Macy’s store at the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, a suburb of Milwaukee.
Police first received word of the shooting just before 3 p.m. Friday, and according to Weber, officers were on the scene within 30 seconds of being summoned. Officers provided medical aid to some of the injured after the shooting, according to authorities.
Authorities say the suspect was not in the mall when they arrived, but officers were forced to order patrons to shelter in place so the mall could be swept. The process to secure the 1.2 million square foot mall took approximately six hours to complete, authorities say.
In all, eight individuals, including a teen, were injured in the shooting. Authorities say that at least four of those individuals were innocent bystanders.
After initially describing the suspect as being in their 20s or 30s, authorities generated a new suspect description thanks to surveillance video and witness interviews, and took the suspect into custody on Saturday evening in Milwaukee.
According to Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber, the weapon authorities believe was used in the shooting was recovered at the location where the suspect was taken into custody.
Police say several other individuals were taken into custody as well, but did not elaborate on their names, ages or what their involvement in the incident was.
Armed officers, including FBI agents and SWAT members, could be seen in areas outside the mall for several hours Friday afternoon as they canvassed the perimeter and secured the facility. In all, seven tactical teams moved through the mall in the aftermath of the shooting, authorities say.
The FBI Milwaukee office confirmed it was assisting with the investigation.
A witness who works inside the store reported hearing several shots fired.
“I work at Finish Line and I see… I heard a shot fired, but at first we didn’t know it was a shot,” said Bianca Delos Reyes. “And then everyone was looking around… and then I saw a person fall.”
Delos Reyes, who lives in Chicago but was working at the Finish Line inside Macy’s to help out, said she and others ran from the building.
“As soon as I got to the parking lot, a lot of people were running right behind me,” she said. “I tucked in between cars. We were all just in between cars trying to figure out what was happening. I swear it was more than 10 shots.”
The Mayfair Mall was the site of a February shooting in which a city police officer, Joseph Mensah, shot and killed Alvin Cole, a Black 17-year-old. Police said Cole was fleeing from police; Mensah, who is also Black, said he shot Cole because Cole pointed a gun at him. The mall was the target of sporadic protests over several months in the wake of the shooting.
The Milwaukee County district attorney declined to file charges against Mensah, but the city this week agreed to a separation agreement in which Mensah will be paid at least $130,000 to leave the force.
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