Teenager Shot Three at US Shopping Mall

February 9, 2015 5:30 am

A teenager who police say opened fire at a Pittsburgh-area mall,
shooting his intended target as well as two bystanders, was arrested,
and the three victims remain hospitalized.
Gunfire erupted inside
the Macy’s department store at the Monroeville Mall about 7:30 p.m.
Saturday local time, sending panicked shoppers running. The gunman fled
but police say they were able to identify him by matching surveillance
video with images on social media.
Tarod Thornhill, 17, was
arrested at a home in Brackenridge about 3:15 a.m. Sunday. He was being
held at the Allegheny County Jail pending arraignment on charges as an
adult of aggravated assault, attempted homicide and recklessly
endangering other people.

Police vehicles line up outside Monroeville Mall after a teenager allegedly opened fire. Photo / AP
Police Chief Douglas Cole said two men
and a woman were shot, including the man who was targeted. He said the
two men were in critical condition, while the woman was in stable
condition.

“This was not random,” Cole told reporters. “We have evidence that leads to that.” He declined to elaborate.
In
late December, hundreds of teenagers gathered at the mall and several
fights broke out. The fights caused local officials and mall
administration to agree on a plan to increase security there.
Shoppers described chaos as shots rang out.
“All
of the sudden we heard people screaming,” Athena Coffey of Churchill
told KDKA-TV, “and the next thing you see is a bunch of people,
teenagers, scared to death, just exodus en masse in a way you could not
believe. I grabbed my children, husband, we started screaming ‘go, go,
go!”‘
Yvette Jackson of North Braddock was attending a birthday party at Giggles andSmiles, a fitness and fun centre for children.
“We
saw a lot of running, a lot of chaos,” she told the Pittsburgh-Tribune
Review. She said she and other patrons were locked in the store for
about 45 minutes until police came and let them out.
Four on-duty
police officers have been stationed in the mall on Friday and Saturday
evenings at the mall’s request, Monroeville Mayor Gregory Erosenko said.
“I
would have thought that having four officers there would have deterred
any incident like we saw (Saturday),” he told the newspaper.
Weapons are banned at the mall except for those carried by on-duty law enforcement officers.
The
mall, which is owned and managed by CBL & Associates Properties
Inc., of Chattanooga, Tennessee, says on its website it features more
than 125 stores and eateries, anchored by JCPenney, Macy’s and Barnes
& Noble.
No one answered the phone at CBL offices after
business hours Saturday. A mall security officer reached by telephone
said he couldn’t talk.

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