California

Girl, 9, is accidentally shot while waiting to meet mall Easter bunny

A 9-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the arm while waiting to see the Easter Bunny at a Southern California shopping center on Tuesday after a store owner opened fire on two alleged shoplifters who were fleeing the business.

When the shots rang out at Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville, Natalie Moraga, who is hearing-impaired, said: FOX 11 there had been a plane crash. She had no idea that her young daughter, Ava, had just been shot dead.

Officers who responded to the shooting at 6.30pm said the shots were intended for a few shoplifters – not the 9-year-old girl, according to a statement released by Victorville police.

Marqel Cockrell, 20, co-owner of the shoe store Sole Addicts, chased the shoplifters out of the Mall of Victor Valley on Tuesday night when he “fired multiple shots at the shoplifters,” police said in a statement. .

A 9-year-old girl, identified as Ava by her family, wears a brave and happy face, despite being hit in the arm by a stray bullet after a shop owner opened fire on two shoplifters

Marqel Cockrell, 20, co-owner of the shoe store Sole Addicts, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after he opened fire on shoplifters in the mall - but instead hit a 9-year-old Ava while they were in line waited to see the Easter Bunny

Marqel Cockrell, 20, co-owner of the shoe store Sole Addicts, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after he opened fire on shoplifters in the mall – but instead hit a 9-year-old Ava while they were in line waited to see the Easter Bunny

The shooting happened at the Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville, California. The mall's stores were closed and customers hid inside when deputies searched for the shooter.

The shooting happened at the Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville, California. The mall’s stores were closed and customers hid inside when deputies searched for the shooter.

‘Cockrell’s shot missed the shoplifters and instead struck the 9-year-old female victim.’

Ava’s grandmother, Robin Saldarelli, told local station FOX 11 that the third-grader was ready to take pictures with the Easter Bunny when the gunman opened fire, and sent shopkeepers to safety.

The mall’s stores were closed and customers hid inside when deputies searched for the shooter.

Video appeared online shortly after the incident which shows that the suspect came into the parking lot of the mall in a white sedan and left, FOX reported.

Cockrell was located and arrested in his car a few hours later, at about 9 p.m. in Clark County, Nevada by the Nevada Highway Patrol, Victorville police said.

He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center with his bail set at $ 1 million, “on a release warrant, for attempted murder,” Victorville police said.

An extradition session is scheduled for Thursday.

Ava's mother, Natalie Moraga, explains the horrific moment when shots rang out in the mall, and the heartbreaking moment when she discovered that her child had been hit by a stray bullet.

Ava’s mother, Natalie Moraga, explains the horrific moment when shots rang out in the mall, and the heartbreaking moment when she discovered that her child had been hit by a stray bullet.

Ava's grandmother, Robin Saldarelli, told FOX 11 that the third-grader was getting ready to take pictures with the Easter bunny when the gunman opened fire.

Ava’s grandmother, Robin Saldarelli, told FOX 11 that the third-grader was getting ready to take pictures with the Easter bunny when the gunman opened fire.

Natalie Moraga, who has a hearing impairment, thought there had been an explosion or plane crash when the loud shots rang out in the mall on Tuesday. She had no idea Ava had just been shot dead

Natalie Moraga, who has a hearing impairment, thought there had been an explosion or plane crash when the loud shots rang out in the mall on Tuesday. She had no idea Ava had just been shot dead

Ava’s family told FOX 11 that she is recovering from her injuries but is in a lot of pain and does not understand why she can not go back to school with her friends.

IN GoFundMe is set to help with Ava’s medical expenses.

‘No little girl deserves this,’ Ava’s mother Natalie wrote in the GoFundMe post.

‘No child deserves this – she was in the mall and went for Easter photos with the rabbit, she is such a lovely lovely girl and loves to read her books, she has 2 gunshot wounds, and her arm is broken !!!!! !! ‘

Ava is recovering from her injuries but is in a lot of pain and does not understand why she can not go back to school with her friends, her family said

Ava is recovering from her injuries but is in a lot of pain and does not understand why she can not go back to school with her friends, her family said

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with Ava's medical expenses

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with Ava’s medical expenses

Girl, 9, is accidentally shot while waiting to meet mall Easter bunny Source link Girl, 9, is accidentally shot while waiting to meet mall Easter bunny

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