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'Dangerous, Brazen Behavior': Charges Filed In Mall Of America Shooting That Injured 2

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Charges have been filed against the suspected gunman in the Mall of America shooting that left two people injured on New Year's Eve.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office on Thursday charged 18-year-old Kahlil Markell Wiley of St. Paul with two felony counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in connection to the shooting.

Kahlil Markell Wiley
Kahlil Markell Wiley (credit: Bloomington police)

Wiley allegedly shot a man in the leg after a fight inside the Mall of America on Friday night. Another man was also grazed by a bullet. Wiley fled the mall following the shooting.

Criminal Complaint Details

According to the criminal complaint, prior to the shooting, the victim who was shot in the leg was upset with Wiley over a previous incident. When the victim saw Wiley on the third floor of the mall, the victim and his friend started to chase Wiley.

Wiley at one point turned around, pulled out a handgun and then shot the victim in the leg, the complaint said.

Investigators recovered a single discharged shell casing at the scene and determined Wiley fired a single gunshot.

The bullet struck the victim's leg, exited his leg, ricocheted off a metal railing and then grazed the second victim's shoulder.

Surveillance video at the time of the shooting showed a crowded mall with many shoppers about, including children.

Investigators determined where Wiley lived and conducted surveillance on the St. Paul residence. Wiley was arrested during a traffic stop Tuesday, and a gun recovered on him was the same gun he used in the mall shooting, the complaint said.

In a post-Miranda statement, Wiley allegedly admitted to shooting the victim after they started to chase him. He said he got "scared" when the victim started to close in on him, so he pulled the gun and fired at him. Wiley said he bought the handgun off the internet.

'Dangerous, Brazen Behavior'

Wiley will make his first court appearance Friday afternoon. If convicted, Wiley could face up to seven years in prison and/or a $14,000 fine. Prosecutors are seeking a greater sentence due to the "egregiousness" of the act.

"This kind of dangerous, brazen behavior caused the injury of two people. Given how crowded the mall was with patrons, including young children with their families, I am surprised and relieved there weren't more victims," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman stated. "This is a matter our office takes very seriously, and since Mr. Wiley fired a gun in the presence of children, we will be seeking an upward sentencing departure. Ultimately, we are seeking a greater sentence for Mr. Wiley due to the egregiousness of his actions."

The shooting prompted a lockdown that had shoppers in the Bloomington mall scrambling to find shelter or fleeing the building. Police from Richfield, Eagan and Burnsville responded during the lockdown, as did officers from the Minnesota State Patrol and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

RELATED: 2 Men Shot In Mall Of America On New Year's Eve

The man shot in the leg was taken to Hennepin Healthcare for treatment. He is expected to survive.

The man grazed was a bystander with no connection to the victim shot in the leg. Paramedics treated him at the scene; he did not need to be hospitalized.

When asked at a press conference how the shooter brought a gun into the building, a mall representative said that while the mall bans guns on the premises, there are no searches or metal detectors at the doorways.

Shortly after the lockdown was lifted, the mall closed at 6 p.m. and cancelled its New Year's Eve celebration. Those with tickets for the event were given refunds. The mall reopened Saturday with enhanced security.

Another teenager was arrested Monday for aiding and abetting the shooter, but was released without charges.

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