17-year-old surrenders in mass shooting at Christiana Mall; two more suspects, including the alleged gunman, still sought

Police said the youth was not the suspected gunman. None of the two suspects who remain at large have been identified, police said.

The exterior of Christiana Mall in Delaware.

The exterior of Christiana Mall following a shooting in April. (Delaware State Police)

One of three suspects in this month’s mass shooting at Christiana Mall has surrendered and is being held in a juvenile detention facility, state police said Wednesday.

The unidentified 17-year-old is not the suspected gunman, Sr. Cpl. Jason Hatchell told WHYY News Wednesday.

The suspect was charged Tuesday with felony facilitating a riot, felony conspiracy, and offensive touching, then arraigned in Family Court. He failed to post $15,000 secured bail, and is being held in a Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services facility.

Three people were shot, two seriously, and five others hurt in the shooting that occurred  around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. Shots rang out at the entrance to the food court, a busy spot flanked by a Cheesecake Factory restaurant and Barnes & Noble bookstore. 

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Hundreds of shoppers and employees had to shelter in place while police cleared the scene and searched fruitlessly for the suspects in and around the popular mall off Interstate 95 near Newark. 

Two of the shooting victims were initially hospitalized in critical condition, Hatchell said. All three have since been released from the hospital.

Even though officers have released a video showing the three suspects walking together in the mall before the shooting, and one is now in custody, police said the two other suspects have not yet been identified. 

Hatchell declined to answer if that means the youth who surrendered has refused to cooperate with authorities. 

Police said the 17-year-old and two other males initiated the violence at the mall when they confronted an 18-year-old male as he left the food court. The group began to beat him, and two of the victim’s friends began fighting with the suspects, police said.

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While they fought, one suspect pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired several times, police said.

The 18-year-old they had attacked and his 16-year-old friend were both struck by three bullets in the torso and lower extremities. 

Another 18-year-old, who was not involved in the fight, was standing on the sidewalk outside the vestibule when he was struck by one bullet. He was taken to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

He urged anyone with information about the at-large suspects’ identity or has any images or videos of the crime to contact Det. Carroll at 302-365-8467, sending a private Facebook message to Delaware State Police, or calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-847-3333.

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