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2 shot at Northlake Mall; 2 adults and 1 teen charged, CMPD says

CHARLOTTE — Two people, including an innocent bystander, were taken to a hospital after a shooting at about 3 p.m. on Thursday at Northlake Mall, CMPD said. Two adults and a teenager were charged in the case.

The shooting happened during the busy shopping season, only 10 days before Christmas.

A fight between the shooting victim and the suspect started inside the mall near Dillard’s, CMPD said. The suspect drew a gun and fired several shots, hitting two people, including an innocent bystander.

The bystander, an employee at the jewelry store where the shooting happened, didn’t want to speak on camera. But a family member told Channel 9′s Evan Donovan he is recovering at home and doing OK.

Witnesses said they heard a commotion from the second floor not far, from the food court entrance between Firebirds and H&M.

An on-duty CMPD officer assigned to the mall located the suspect and tried to detain him. The suspect dropped the gun and ran off. Officers caught up with the suspect and took him into custody.

Using records from law enforcement and the court, Channel 9 was able to determine Xavior Grant Alexander, 19, was arrested in connection to the case. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

On Friday, CMPD said two more people were charged with assault: Jadah Van Williams, 21, and a 17-year-old.

Alexander appeared in court Friday and was given a court-appointed attorney and a bond of $750,000. He will be given an electronic monitor if he is released.

After the situation was under control, Northlake officials asked officers to walk through the mall to let everyone know about the incident and tell them there was no ongoing threat.

The shooting victim involved in the fight was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The innocent bystander was also hospitalized but was expected to recover.

On Thursday night, a mall spokesperson said one of the victims had been released from the hospital.

The mall remained closed Thursday. It reopened Friday, but the jewelry store remained closed.

There will be an increased police presence at the mall and counselors were made available as employees returned, the spokesperson said.

“It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I would hope this type of activity would make people upset and worried all year round,” said CMPD Major Ryan Butler. “I would suggest any time you’re at a major public venue that you maintain situational awareness.”

Witness John Luongo said he shot video around right after hearing gunshots.

“After the shots, a second or two, after a second or two passed, screams followed,” he told Channel 9. “I heard a lot of chaos and people yelling, screaming, running. People exiting the mall.”

An employee at the store Buckle told Channel 9 they recently had active-shooter training, and they put that knowledge to use Thursday afternoon. During the shooting, staff members locked the doors and brought everyone inside to the back.

The employee said emotions and tensions were high as the shooting unfolded.

“We just heard three to four gunshots,” said Bella Brown, who works at the mall. “You could tell it’s from upstairs.”

Brown said she heard screaming.

“And I think it was security yelling, ‘Fire!’ I guess that’s their code for that,” Brown said. “We took our guests into the back and locked everything down. We just watched our cameras and watched everyone running.”

Shoppers were evacuated from the mall, the employee said.

No further information has been released.

Statement from Northlake Mall:

“Earlier this afternoon, Northlake Mall experienced an isolated shooter incident. The authorities were immediately contacted and the shooter was detained. There is no threat at this time. However, the mall will remain closed for the remainder of today. We are working with local authorities to better understand what transpired.”

VIDEO: CMPD updates the public after double-shooting at Northlake Mall