Police: 15-year old arrested in connection to Wauwatosa mall shooting
Police say the suspected firearm has been recovered.
WAUWATOSA, Wis. (AP) - The Wauwatosa Police Department announced a 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection to the Mayfair Mall shooting that left eight people injured Friday, Nov. 20.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber made the announcement Sunday, just two days after the incident. Authorities said they believe the shooting was not a random act, but an altercation between two groups. Chief Weber added that the suspected firearm used on Friday was recovered during the arrest.
Police say the victims suffered non life threatening injuries, and nearly all have been discharged from the hospital.
Despite the incident, authorities say Mayfair Mall is still a safe place for the community.
“Mayfair Mall is a wonderful place to shop and is a safe place to be,” Chief Weber said. “Unfortunately, in our society, an incident like this can happen any time and any place. I encourage people to show their support for Mayfair Mall.”
Authorities say other arrests have been made, but they are still investigating and are limiting what details are released to the public to avoid compromising the investigation.
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Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber reported that dispatchers received reports of a shooting at the Mayfair Mall around 2:50 p.m. in the northwest entrance of the Macy’s store. The Wauwatosa Police Department and Fire Department arrived on scene, but the shooter was no longer there.
Wauwatosa police say preliminary investigation leads them to believe that this shooting was not a random act, but instead the result of an altercation.
Investigators are working to determine the suspect’s identity, but preliminary witness statements have described the suspect as a male in his 20s or 30s. Weber warned that any information regarding the suspect’s identity is false. WPD also said they will work with the victims to identify and apprehend the suspect.
Our thoughts go out to our community, especially those who were injured and affected by the incident today. Events like this shake a community, and we remain committed to protecting those who live in and visit Wauwatosa. We will continue to provide updated information, and appreciate patience as we continue to work on this still active investigation.”
Wauwatosa Fire Department took the eight victims to the hospital, seven adults and one teenager, and Chief Weber said no one had died.
Police said in an update Friday night around 9:30 p.m. that the scene was clear and secure. The mall will be closed on Saturday and law enforcement will stay at the mall into the night to continue processing the scene.
“It was frightening,” said Aesha Adams-Roberts, who was inside Macy’s with her two kids when she heard gunshots. “I actually had nightmares like that before where we were in a mall and there was shooting and I was running and couldn’t get my kids.”
Adams-Roberts said her daughter was wearing headphones and did not run away immediately. “I was so in shock I couldn’t scream, but I turned and looked at her and she saw everyone else running so she ran as well.”
Witnesses told WISN-TV that they had heard what they believed to be eight to 12 gunshots.
WISN reported that at least five people were taken away from the mall on stretchers, at least two of whom were sitting upright and appeared to be conscious. Some people remained in the mall while police searched for a suspect. The station interviewed several people outside the mall who said they had friends sheltering in stores inside.
Mall owner Brookfield Properties said in a statement they were “disheartened and angered that our guests and tenants were subject to this violent incident today.” They declined further comment.
The FBI in Milwaukee tweeted its agents have responded to assist.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner tweeted that they will not responding to the incident at the mall.
The Milwaukee County Transit System also tweeted that MCTS buses that normally stop at the mall were unable to enter the property due to the incident.
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.
This is an ongoing story and this story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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