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Police Chief: Teen Suspect Arrested In Mayfair Mall Shooting That Injured 8 People

Police Arrested 15-Year-Old Suspect On Saturday Evening, Recovered Firearm

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Two officers point as police light up a nighttime crime scene
Police officers block off the entrances to the Mayfair Mall on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Wauwatosa. Angela Major/WPR

Wauwatosa police have announced the arrest of a 15-year-old from Milwaukee in connection with a shooting at the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa that injured eight people Friday afternoon.

Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said police obtained search warrants and the teen was apprehended after being pulled over in a vehicle on Saturday night. A firearm that is suspected of being used during the shooting was also recovered at the scene.

The suspect is believed to have fled on foot as other patrons were running out of the mall after the shooting on Friday afternoon.

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Weber said the initial investigation led authorities to believe that there was no immediate danger to the public, and no photos of the suspect were released for fear of comprising the investigation.

“It is important to stress that this act of violence was not a random one, but an altercation between two groups,” said Weber.

Wauwatosa Police Sgt. Abby Pavlik said several members of the groups were injured in the incident. She said several other arrests had been made, adding that police are still investigating their connections.

Seven adults and one teenager were transported to an unnamed area hospital after the shooting occurred at around 2:50 p.m. Friday, according to police. Weber said Sunday that four individuals involved in the shooting were innocent bystanders.

“We extend our well wishes and prayers to them for a speedy recovery,” said Weber.

Those who were injured sustained non-life-threatening injuries and most have been released from medical care.

The shooting happened near the northwest entrance of the mall on the lower level of the Macy’s department store, Weber said.

Police released on Friday what Weber dubbed “erroneous” information that the suspect was a white man in his 20s or 30s. Authorities developed multiple leads that later indicated the shooter was a juvenile.

Weber emphasized Sunday that the Mayfair Mall is a safe place to shop and encouraged people to support the mall. The Mayfair Mall has been the site of multiple shootings, including an incident involving Officer Joseph Mensah in which he shot and killed a Black teenager in February. Mensah recently resigned from the Wauwatosa Police Department amid calls for his firing.

Three people with white shopping bags pass through a dark parking lot in front of a Macy's
People walk with shopping bags in front of Mayfair Mall on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Wauwatosa. Angela Major/WPR

Authorities, Local Hospitals Respond To Shooting

Earlier Friday evening, Weber had asked the public to stay away from the mall as it is still an active crime scene.

“The crime scene is active, and we ask members of the public to remain away from the area and be patient so that our law enforcement personnel may secure the scene and investigate,” Weber said.

Throughout the late afternoon and early evening, people in the mall were still being released. People needing to meet up with those inside the mall were instructed to go to the reunification area at the At Home store, 3201 N. Mayfair Rd.

A statement released early Friday evening from Froedtert Hospital says two nearby hospitals were preparing to possibly accept patients from the shooting.

“Shortly after 3 p.m. Friday, Froedtert Hospital and Children’s Wisconsin were notified of a shooting at Mayfair Mall. Both hospitals’ trauma teams were prepared to receive patients. Additional questions should be directed to law enforcement,” according to Nalissa Wienke, media relations associate for Froedtert Hospital.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner tweeted at 3:42 p.m. it wasn’t responding to the shooting at the mall.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported commanders at the scene asked the mall to make an announcement that people in the building should shelter in place.

Several law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting, including the FBI and police from Wauwatosa, Waukesha, West Milwaukee and Franklin. Late Friday afternoon, a minimum of 20 responding vehicles were visible in one section of the parking lot, with about a dozen or more just in the area near Macy’s.

A live video feed from WISN-TV at 4:15 p.m. showed numerous law enforcement vehicles and law enforcement in the parking lot with little to no pedestrian foot traffic.

Reports Of Shooting Near Macy’s Store

An unidentified man who spoke with a WPR reporter at the scene said his wife works at the mall and was inside at the time of the shooting. He said his wife texted him saying shots were fired near Macy’s.

Red and blue lights from police cars illuminate a dark parking lot
Law enforcement vehicles are parked with their lights on in front of Mayfair Mall on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Wauwatosa. Angela Major/WPR

Steve Humphrie’s 21-year-old daughter, Nadia Mitchell-Humphrie, was working at a Lenscrafters in the mall when shots were fired. She texted her father as soon as it happened, saying the shooting started at Macy’s and continued into the hallway.

Humphrie sped to the mall to meet her.

“I was anxious, worried, not knowing if your kid is safe. It’s a bad situation,” he said.

Mitchell-Humphrie was held in the mall for some time while officers searched the building, but the two ultimately reunited at around 5:20 p.m.

Officials Speak Out After Shooting

Brookfield Properties owns the Mayfair Mall and released a statement Friday evening.

“We are disheartened and angered that our guests and tenants were subject to this violent incident today,” Lindsay Kahn, director of public relations, said. “We are thankful for our partners at the Wauwatosa Police Department and we are cooperating with them as their investigation develops. At this time, we need to direct you to WPD for comment.”

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday said on Twitter he was thinking of those injured and their families. He also wished the victims a speedy recovery.

“We are also thinking about all the customers and workers affected by this act of violence and are grateful for the first responders who helped get people to safety. As we learn more, we offer our support for the entire Wauwatosa community as they grapple with this tragedy,” he said.

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