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9-year-old girl wounded after gunman opens fire in Victorville mall

9-year-old girl wounded after gunman opens fire in Victorville mall 01:47

A shooting inside a mall in Victorville Tuesday night left a 9-year-old girl wounded.

The shooting occurred at about 6:30 p.m. at the Victor Valley Mall, located in the 14000 block of Bear Valley Road. It took place in an area near a Barnes & Noble bookstore. 

A 9-year-old girl was struck by the gunfire. She was rushed to a hospital, where at last report she was stable, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

According to a GoFundMe page set up by her family, the girl was in the mall waiting to get pictures with the Easter Bunny when she was shot.  

Several stores were initially locked down and customers and employees told to shelter in place while armed deputies canvassed the area for the gunman, who fled and remains at large. The mall was then evacuated. 

9-year-old girl wounded after gunman opens fire in Victorville mall
April 12, 2022.  (LLN)

"'Who's in here, get out, get out, get out,'" mall employee Jayla Gray said of the deputies. "So they escorted us out, and they had guns drawn at us, and it was kind of scary. And they were yelling at us to put our hands up as they escorted us out of the mall."

"There was trails of blood inside the mall that we did go next to," mall employee Alison Ramirez added.

The sheriff's department described it as an "isolated incident" and not an active shooter situation. The owner of a Sole Addict store was later arrested in the shooting.

The mall was closed for the rest of the night.

Most of the stores reopened the next day, with the exception of Sole Addict, which remained gated and dark throughout Thursday. 

CBS reporters spoke Jose Carlon, whose menswear store Stacy's sits adjacent to the Easter Bunny photo opportunity. 

Carlon sheltered the girl and her family after the shooting took place, detailing how they gathered towels to cover the wound since "she would get really scared when she would look at it."

"She was actually really, really brave," he continued. 

The girl is expected to recover from her wound, which Carlon is very grateful for. 

"Thanks to Jehovah, thanks to God everything worked out," he finished. 

Frequenters of the shopping center are distraught about Tuesday's incident, noting that the frequency is great cause for additional security. 

It was the third shooting in the area in just the last six months. 

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