ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) – UPDATE: Police say they have arrested two teenagers in connection with a shooting that wounded one man in a busy suburban Atlanta mall food court in the height of the Christmas shopping season.
The Cobb County Police Department said surveillance footage and interviews helped identify the suspects as 18-year-old Zaire Dhanoolal and 19-year-old Joweer Ponce.
Officals said Sunday that Dhanoolal was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, while Ponce was charged with reckless conduct and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
The shooting happened Saturday and sent shoppers scrambling at the sound of gunfire that police said began with a verbal dispute. Police say 18-year-old Ethan Green was shot in the neck and shoulder area and taken to the hospital for treatment.
ATLANTA (AP) — A shooting that wounded one person in a mall food court sent suburban Atlanta shoppers fleeing in panic Saturday.
The Cobb County Police Department says the person was wounded at Cumberland Mall after 1 p.m., and that the shooting suspect then ran away. The victim was taken to a hospital, but police didn’t identify the person or describe the extent of the victim’s injuries.
Police said they have identified a suspect and are looking for him.
Three witnesses told The Associated Press they saw a man bleeding on the floor of the mall’s food court after shots were heard. None of the witnesses would identify themselves.
Videos posted online showed people with shopping bags running in all directions from the food court, with some hiding under counters and tables. Shoppers reported that store employees in some cases told them to hide in stockrooms.
Zyon Davis told WGCL-TV that he was shopping in a sporting goods store when he overheard two men arguing loudly at a deli in the food court. Davis said one of the men then drew a gun.
“You heard the gunshots, probably two or three shots,” Davis said.
In the aftermath, Davis said some people pushed and shoved others to the ground as they ran.
“It was very chaotic,” Davis said. “Everybody was running everwhere. Everything was a mess.”
Police said the shooting was “an isolated incident,” calling it a dispute between people who knew each other and “not an active shooter event.” Police added that the original supervisor who arrived at the mall, “out of an abundance of caution,” described the scene as an active shooter incident, meaning a gunman targeting numbers of people in a public place.
The mall was closed for a time Saturday afternoon following the shooting.
Cumberland Mall, in suburban Cobb County, is owned by Brookfield Properties, which manages more than 170 shopping centers across the United States. The mall has more than 1 million square feet (92,000 square meters) of retail space and is anchored by Macy’s and Costco. It’s in a busy suburban business district, near where major league baseball’s Atlanta Braves play in their new stadium.