Police Find Car Linked To Deadly Fox River Mall Shooting

Officers Say Sunday's Incident Was Targeted

Police tape
Justin McGregor (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Police in Oshkosh say they’ve located a car that may be linked to Sunday’s shooting at the Fox River Mall in Appleton that left one person dead and another injured.

The Grand Chute Police Department believes 17-year-old Dezman Ellis may have been involved in the shooting, according to a news release. Police haven’t found Ellis, but they did find the Dodge Avenger they believe he was traveling in, after receiving a tip Monday morning that it was parked in the driveway of a home in Oshkosh.

Officers from Oshkosh and Grand Chute entered the home, where four people — three teenagers and a 37-year-old woman — became “physically combative” with the officers, according to the Oshkosh Police Department. They were arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. On Monday afternoon, a representative from the Oshkosh Police Department said she’s uncertain of Ellis’ connection to the home.

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Finding the car helps advance the ongoing investigation, said Grand Chute Police Department public information officer Travis Waas.

“We know now that he is no longer in that vehicle, no longer traveling in that vehicle, so we have to turn our investigation elsewhere to figure out exactly what he has been traveling in to figure out, ultimately, where he’s at, so we can take him into custody,” Waas said.

Ellis is considered to be armed and dangerous, he said.

“If you see him, we ask that nobody go and make contact with him,” Waas said. “Just contact your local law enforcement immediately.”

The shooting occurred Sunday, with police responding around 3:30 p.m. to a report of shots fired at the mall, which is located just off Interstate 41 in Grand Chute. They found two victims, including 19-year-old Jovanni J. Frausto, who died from his injuries, according to a news release from the Grand Chute Police Department. The other victim, whose identity was not released, was treated for their injuries and released.

Police have spoken with several witnesses and believe the shooting was targeted, according to Waas.

“Out of respect for the victims, their families, and in support of the ongoing investigation, Fox River Mall will remain closed on Monday, February 1,” according to the mall’s Facebook page.

It’s not Wisconsin’s only high-profile mall shooting in recent months. A 15-year-old is accused of shooting eight people at the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa in November.

It’s been a violent 12 months across the state, with a record number of shootings taking place in Milwaukee and Green Bay last year. In 2020, Madison broke its monthly record for shots fired two months in a row, according to local news reports.

Anyone with information about Sunday’s shooting at the Fox River Mall can contact the Grand Chute Police Department at 920-832-1575 or on social media.

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