Wauwatosa, WI – Wauwatosa police have arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with the shooting of eight people at the Mayfair Mall last Friday.
The incident occurred just before 2:49 p.m. on Nov. 20 near the Macy’s on the lower level of the mall, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Officers responded to the scene within 30 seconds of the first 911 calls and found terrified shoppers running for their lives trying to get out of the mall.
Police locked down the mall and sent SWAT teams from multiple police agencies to clear all of the stores in the 1.2 million square foot building looking for an active shooter, but officers did not locate the gunman, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Later, police said the suspect had run out of the mall with other frightened patrons before police arrived on the scene.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber says the Mayfair shooting suspect, a 15 YO male from Milwaukee, was arrested by authorities last night with the firearm in his possession. Weber says the teen fled the mall while other patrons were running out. @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/xW7owKxsU5
— Ben Jordan (@BenJordan3) November 22, 2020
It took six hours to clear the mall, and during that time, officers interviewed witnesses and pulled mall security videos of the area, FOX News reported.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said officers were initially given an “erroneous” description of the shooter as a white man in his 20s or 30s, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Chief Weber said that police reviewed surveillance videos of the area and identified the gunman as a Hispanic teenage boy.
Statement from Police Chief Barry Weber. Regarding shooting incident at Mayfair Mall 11/20/2020. pic.twitter.com/4dU95DFaXl
— Wauwatosa Police (WI) (@WauwatosaPD) November 20, 2020
The surveillance video of the shootings has not been released to the public because the suspected gunman is a minor, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Investigators later learned that the shootings were a result of an altercation between two groups of people in the mall.
“There were several members of those groups that were injured during this altercation,” Wauwatosa Police Public Information Officer Abby Pavlik explained to reporters.
Four of the eight people who were shot during the incident were innocent bystanders, and four were involved in the confrontation with the teenage gunman, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
One of the people wounded was a teenager, according to NBC News.
“We do know there was some sort of altercation, and that’s when the bullets started flying,” Chief Weber told reporters at a press conference on Sunday.
The police chief said none of the victims’ gunshot wounds were life-threatening, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
— Jessica Tighe (@jessicatighe) November 20, 2020
Police arrested the 15-year-old suspect on Saturday night.
Officers recovered the handgun believed to have been used in the mall shootings when they arrested him, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Police have not released the name of the suspect, nor have they said what charges he is facing, according to NBC News.
They also have not revealed where the gunman was arrested.
NOT A RANDOM ACT: In an update Friday night, the Wauwatosa Police Department said preliminary investigation has led them to believe that the shooting was not a random act, and was the result of an altercation. pic.twitter.com/T41fNmJBgi
— NBC15 News (@nbc15_madison) November 21, 2020
Pavlik said several other people had been arrested in connection with the shootings; however, no other details have been released, NBC News reported.
Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis R. McBride released a statement blaming the guns and the shooter’s non-compliance with the no-gun policy.
“Guns have no place in shopping malls or other places in which crowds of people gather. Mayfair has a strict no-gun policy. If the shooter had complied with that policy, no one would have been hurt yesterday,” the Mayor’s sttement said.