NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A man has been arrested in connection with a shooting inside the Gallery at Military Circle Friday afternoon.
20-year-old Javonte Jordan, of Shirley Avenue in Norfolk, is charged with felonious assault and use of a firearm. Police have not released his mugshot, as investigators continue to conduct photo lineups with potential witnesses.
Karen Parker-Chesson with the Norfolk Police Department said officers were dispatched to the mall around 1:10 p.m. for a report of a male gunshot victim. She said several males were involved in a fight when one person took out a gun and shot a man.
Parker-Chesson said several suspects were taken into custody and the victim was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. He has since been released from the hospital, police confirm.
Witnesses told WAVY News’ Jason Marks the shooting stemmed from a brawl between two groups of people inside the Victoria’s Secret store. Witnesses reported seeing one person pull out a gun, shoot the victim in the upper leg, and leave. They say even as people were running to the victim’s aid, punches were still being tossed.
“It was a melee, different people fighting,” said witness Alex Ramirez. “I jumped in there, I took his pants off because we couldn’t see where the blood was coming from, and found where the bullet hole was at.”
Video of the scene showed blood on the floor and several people assisting the victim. To view a picture of the scene, click here — warning, the picture may be graphic to some.
“There was a Navy guy who ended up applying pressure to where the gunshot was at, and I helped him and took my belt off and put a tourniquet on his leg,” Ramirez said.
Police arrived shortly, taped off one wing of the mall and several suspects were taken away in handcuffs — all of this while the rest of the mall remained open, full of shoppers who are thankful to be unharmed.
“Unfortunately, there were a lot of young ladies with a lot of young children, which was probably the worst part about it,” Ramirez said.
Rivera was one of those mothers.
“Traumatizing,” she said. “As you can see, I had my three kids here. They ran to the floor and they were crying. It was traumatizing for my family, as well.”
10 On Your Side talked to relatives of one of the suspects taken into police custody after the shooting.
Towanna Stovall and Deidre Long say their nephew came to the mall with his three-month-old daughter and girlfriend. He was accompanied by his friend, who brought his one-month-old son and his girlfriend. Stovall says her nephew and his friends were approached by a group of guys who wanted to fight.
“They were just walking in the mall and the guys came up to him and wanted to fight DaQuaun and his friend,” Stovall said. “They said, ‘No we got our kids with us.’ They basically said, ‘We don’t care whether you got your kids with you or not, we are going to do this.’ They hit my god daughter and punched her in the eye. They also jumped on DaQuan and his friend.”
When Stovall got the news she rushed to the mall.
Police have not said who threw the first punch or why, but Stovall says her nephew knew the group of guys that approached him and they had prior run ins. Stovall believes the guys wanted to fight her nephew because he stopped spending time with them. Now Stovall and Long both worry that this run in may not be their last.
“It’s not going to stop here because this is not the first incident that is my concern,” said Long.
Stovall says the infants near the shooting are safe. Her nephew was questioned and released from police custody without being charged.
“Anything could happen — the bullets could ricochet,” said Jamal Strayhorn, another witness. “I don’t understand what’s wrong. There are no morals these days.”
“This is just crazy, it’s really crazy,” Rivera said. “People can’t even go in the mall and shop.”
Norfolk Police spokeswoman Karen Parker-Chesson says there have been more than 800 calls for service at the mall in the past 12 months, mostly for larceny, alarm, disturbance-disorderly and assaults.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.