Officers responded and located three victims with gunshot wounds in the vicinity of the food court.
NEWARK, DE (DNTV): Three people were shot at the Christiana Mall, two of them critically wounded, explained Senior Corporal Jason Hatchell, a Delaware State Police spokesman, at a Saturday evening press conference at the mall.
It was just before 6:45 p.m. when Delaware State police and multiple other law enforcement agencies converged at the food court inside the mall.
“At approximately 6:43 p.m., tonight, the Delaware State Police were dispatched to the Christiana Mall for a reported shooting that occurred at the entrance to the food court.,” said Senior Corporal Jason Hatchell. “Officers responded and located three victims with gunshot wounds in the vicinity of the food court.”
Hatchell said, the victims were transported to area hospitals for their injuries.
We can confirm that there are 3 victims who were injured by gunfire and transported to an area hospital for medical treatment. There are currently no public safety concerns at Christiana Mall and the surrounding area. Please continue to avoid the area as DSP gathers more info.
— Delaware State Police (@DEStatePolice) April 9, 2023
officials say five other individuals sustained various injuries not related to gunfire during the incident. All five people were transported to area hospitals for medical treatment., police said.
During the Saturday evening press conference, police say they don’t know much about the suspects but that there is no threat to public safety.
Hatchell said “The Christiana Mall has been searched and cleared by police. There is no threat to public safety. However, police cannot confirm how many suspects are at large at this time and investigators are actively working to identify the suspects.
Police say this was not an active shooter situation and the suspects didn’t come to the mall and pick a random victim and open fire.
“They didn’t come to the mall and pick a random victim and open fire. This was an altercation between (the) suspects and the victims, and one who produced a gun and opened fire,” said Hatchell.
Hatchell reiterated that there is no threat to public safety. but when asked if he could explain how the public is not at risk with no suspects in custody, Hatchell said because the incident was a “targeted attack,” not a “random attack.”
“The incident is determined to be a result of an altercation between several suspects and at least one of the victims.,” Hatchell added. “This remains an active and ongoing investigation.”
Governor John Carney Responds thanking law enforcement but failed to mention the victims.
“Thank you to all emergency personnel who responded quickly on Saturday night to the Christiana Mall. We are always grateful for the hard work of Delaware’s law enforcement officers and first responders. This remains an active and ongoing investigation.”
On Sunday morning, police said troopers will be at the mall to assist those in locating lost property.
“On April 10, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Delaware State Police will be at the Christiana Mall to assist mall staff while they return lost property from the most recent incident. Anyone wanting to reclaim property should go to the vacant storefront next to the Apple store.,” police said in a tweet.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue to gather more details on this shooting.,” police added.
A spokesperson with the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence said, “We know what it takes to turn this deadly trend around: stronger policies that keep dangerous people unarmed. Help us build a safer Delaware for us all, including children in classrooms, teenagers at the mall, and families in every home and community.”
Local gun violence prevention activists gathered Monday afternoon in the wake of Saturday evening’s shooting that left three people with bullet wounds and several others injured.
Margaret Guy from the nonprofit, Stop the Violence Prayer Chain was one of those organizations. Stop the Violence Prayer Chain was at Christiana Mall Monday to pray, walk and hold signs, and make their voices be heard. I wanted to do something to try to bring an end to the violence — and to make it known to everyone involved that someone cares.
“I had teenagers from my program shopping in the mall at that time,” she told members of the media Monday.
“We pray that they get well and we pray that these people put these guns down, that these teens stop getting all of these guns,” Guy said.
“Teenagers got in a fight in the mall and started shooting each other. Our government has failed them. Their parents have failed them. Our schools have failed them.,” Said Charles Cohen. “This is what happens in a country that loves violence more than peace. Where guns matter more than love.”
The Delaware State Police Troop 2 Criminal Investigative Unit is currently investigating the incident. Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding this case to contact Detective H. Carroll by calling 302-365-8467. Information may also be provided by sending a Private Facebook Message to the Delaware State Police or contacting Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-847-3333.
If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of a crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and need assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll-free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1 (1-800-842-8461). You may also email the Victim Services Unit at DSP_VictimServicesMail@delaware.gov