Police are searching for a teenage suspect in a shooting that injured a man and caused a panic at Arundel Mills mall Saturday night.
Jamari Marquese Hammond, 16, of Severn is wanted on attempted-murder and other charges in the shooting, which happened just before 7:45 p.m. on the west side of the mall in Hanover, according to Anne Arundel County Police.
The victim, whose name was not released, suffered gunshot wounds to his lower torso that were not life-threatening, police said. Detectives met him at a hospital, where he arrived about a half-hour after the shooting, police said.
The shooting happened just outside an entrance between Modell’s Sporting Goods and Books-A-Million amid an argument between two groups of people. Police said they did not know each other and called it “targeted and isolated in nature.”
But the sound of gunshots wreaked havoc at the crowded mall Saturday night, prompting screams and sending customers running.
Les Morris, a spokesman for Simon Property Group, which owns the mall, referred questions to police.
Part of the incident was apparently captured in video posted to the Instagram account @murder_ink_bmore, which shows someone walking up to the group outside the mall and aiming a handgun at one of the people. The group immediately disperses, and the pop of gunshots is followed by the sound of running, screams echoing through the mall and shouts of “What happened?”
Donna Thomas said she could hear the gunfire and the ensuing chaos from Bed Bath & Beyond on the other side of the mall, where she had been shopping for pillows.
“I heard the popping and heard the commotion,” said Thomas, who lives in Severn. “My heart dropped.”
Thomas said she hurried to the front of the store, only to realize everyone else had already left.
“People were running,” she said.
The shooting didn’t deter Thomas from coming back Sunday morning to stop at Bath & Body Works for some candles and other items she couldn’t buy amid the ruckus.
“I had to come back,” she said.
Linda Robinson and Rasheeda Branch had planned to celebrate Robinson’s husband’s birthday with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory at the Live Casino on Saturday night, but the shooting re-routed their evening.
After sitting in halted traffic for about 20 minutes near the parking lot, the two Philadelphia women said, their group headed to the Cheesecake Factory at the Mall in Columbia instead.
“We pulled up [to Arundel Mills] as the cops were blocking the road off,” Branch said.
Two Anne Arundel County Police SUVs, parked near the entrance where the shooting happened, were the only signs Sunday of the violence at the mall, which was full of customers shopping at stores and eating in the food court.
Jaylen Kinney, 19, a Prince George’s County native who lives in Laurel, visited Arundel Mills Sunday and said it was an unusual place for a shooting. After a 20-person melee in the food court last year, though, it wasn’t shocking that the violence had escalated, he said.
“Eventually it was bound to happen,” Kinney said. “Given the altercations, it’s only a matter of time.”
Seneca Jackson, 41, of Baltimore had heard about the shooting and the recent fighting. He also stopped by the mall on Sunday.
Jackson hopes the shooting isn’t used as an excuse to try to limit transit, as some suggested following a recent fight at the White Marsh Mall, because it would only deny transportation to people who need it.
“Stopping the bus system from coming out here isn’t going to solve it,” he said. “It’s not going to stop it.”
Kristina Kim and her twin 4-year-old sons sat in the food court Sunday, eating pizza.
They live in the county, but their visits to the mall are infrequent, and Kim hadn’t heard about the shooting the night before, she said. If she had, she said, she might have picked a different destination for lunch.
“I’m horrified, honestly,” she said.
Sam Rudeiger, 52, who was walking through the mall on a visit to family from his home in Switzerland, was disturbed but unsurprised.
“That’s normal in America,” he said. “Everybody has a gun. What do you expect?”
Police ask anyone with information on Hammond’s whereabouts to call Anne Arundel County Police’s Western District at 410-222-6155 or the TipLine at 410-222-4700.