Police have arrested a man for allegedly shooting a 9-year-old girl as he chased two shoplifters out of his shoe store inside a Victorville mall, according to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.
The shooting occurred at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at The Mall of Victor Valley.
Marqel Cockrell, a co-owner of Sole Addicts, is accused of firing multiple shots at two shoplifters but missed and struck the girl, who was taking pictures with the Easter Bunny at the mall, CBS News reports.
The young girl, who has only been identified as a Victorville resident, was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center in stable condition, authorities said. According to ABC7, the girl’s family said she was shot three times in the arm and is expected to be OK.
The 20-year-old shooter fled the scene, but was found in his vehicle around 9 p.m. by the Nevada Highway Patrol and taken into custody, authorities said in a news statement. Cockrell, of Adelanto, is being held at the Clark County Jail in Nevada on an extraditable warrant for attempted murder, in the amount of $1 million.
When police received a report about the shooting, stores were placed on lockdown. Officers evacuated the mall during the preliminary search for the shooter, according to ABC7.
The gunshots wreaked terror among workers and customers at the mall.
“We were scared. We were just waiting for someone to get us out,” mall worker Silemyr Valle told ABC7.
Police are asking for anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Victorville Police Department at (760) 241-2911.
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