FAIRFIELD, Ala. (WIAT) — Fairfield Police Chief Leon Davis says a 15-year-old innocent bystander was standing in line with around 50 or 60 people when he was shot in the foot. It happened around 2 am in front of the Western Hills Mall, according to police.
“It was a handgun, a 9 millimeter, “said Chief Leon Davis, Fairfield Police Department.
“We have conflicting stories, some people say there was an altercation between people, some people say a car passed through and started shooting, but in all this melee a 15-year-old was shot and injured in the foot and was taken to the hospital,” said Davis. “Fortunately, his injuries are non-life threatening and we were able to make an arrest of two people.”
Investigators say the teen who was injured was not the intended target.
“I think it was directed at one individual, maybe one or two individuals, but because of the way the group was gathered there was always a chance of someone else being hit,” said Chief Leon Davis, Fairfield Police Department.
A mall maintenance truck was apparently hit by a stray bullet. The reason behind the shooting is still being investigated, but Chief Davis says similar sales have caused problems at the same mall before.
“There have been fights there have been damages done at the mall due to people trying to rush the doors and in one incident the door was actually knocked off the hinges and one of the security guards was injured,” said Davis. “The retailers need to take some responsibility for the safety of their patrons as well as the parents need to take responsibility for the safety of their kids. It, it’s not a safe environment as far as I’m concerned.”
Fairfield Shopper Keangelo Brown bought the new pair of Nike’s without having to stand in line. He explained all the hype around the Nike Air Jordan brand.
“It’s real big. Like Jordan is just a brand that branches off into many different states and among this community right here if you have on Jordan’s you just make you cool or whatever for real just to try to fit in,” said Keangelo Brown.
Brown says he signed up for a raffle ticket at one of the shoe stores at the mall.
“They just so happened to pull my name and this is how I got my shoes. I had to come up here before two o’clock and get the shoes and that’s it no line, no wait,” said Brown. “Some stores do it. Some stores don’t. So some people are going to be in line, some people are going to have the raffle tickets. I could get hurt right now just standing out here just showing these to you. People are watching me, so either way it goes the violence is going to continue.”
Chief Davis says there is a curfew ordinance on the books in Fairfield, but he says that’s not really a solution because of complicating factors.
“In order for a kid to be taken into juvenile detention he has to actually commit a crime. A curfew violation is not really a crime you’re just being out past a certain time. Juvenile detention will not take them,” said Davis.
Chief Davis says he will ask the mall management to discontinue these types of sales and if need be ask city leaders to consider banning them.
“If it was up to me I would have said that already, I would have said that a long time ago. We send our kids out, drop them off at the mall and expect the police or someone else to babysit them all night which is not a responsibility of the police. Parents need to be parents and say no enough is enough. If they stop their kids from going and spending the night at these malls and buying these shoes, I’m pretty sure the retailers will get the message that we can do this during normal operating hours when it’s much safer,” said Davis.
“I spoke briefly with the mall manager last night; well early this morning and I will be speaking with him again on Monday. It’s my intention to do everything in my power to persuade him not to have these types of sales anymore. If I can’t go that route I will be speaking with the mayor to maybe see if we can draft some type of ordinance banning these types of sales in Fairfield,” he continued.
Chief Davis says formal charges against the two suspects are pending.
The Western Hills Mall management refused to comment.
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News