NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - ?
North Charleston investigators say they believe they know who is responsible for a shooting in the parking lot of Northwoods Mall on Monday and are "actively working to locate them," according to North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor.
Police have not released the names of the suspects, but investigators are searching for a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old in connection with the case, Pryor says. Witness accounts reported in the initial incident report claimed the two were in their "late teens or early 20s."
Dispatchers received several calls to the shopping center at around 12:30 p.m., where police found a male victim lying in the grass with three gunshot wounds.
"Some fella just got shot over at Northwoods Mall in the Sears parking lot," a man said in a call to 911 dispatchers. "I don't know if this fella is going to make it. He's shot all to hell. We need an ambulance quick."
The incident led to the shutdown of Northwoods Mall at around lunchtime so that a SWAT team could perform a sweep of the entire mall to make sure there was no threat inside the mall.
Police say the victim told them he was at the mall to pick up a person that he knew, but that he got into an argument with two men in a vehicle he identified as "B.J." and "Gooch." The victim told police he heard three gunshots, realized he had been shot and struck a parked vehicle, the incident report states.
The victim said the two left their weapons in their vehicle and fled the scene on foot. He was transported to MUSC for treatment.
Witnesses told police they saw the two run into the mall after the shooting, leading to the call for the SWAT team to conduct a search.
Law enforcement authorities cordoned off a section of the parking lot and blocked all entrances to the mall. Investigators processed an SUV in the parking lot before a tow truck later towed the vehicle away. A Charleston County Sheriff's Office helicopter also responded to the mall to assist in the investigation.
A worker at the mall said she was locked inside the mall from 12:30 p.m. until about 3:30 p.m. as the investigation took place.
"It was just scary hearing over the intercom that there was an active shooting and the store [would] now be on lockdown," said Lori Stottlemyre said who works at JC Penney.
The mall re-opened at 5:30 p.m. Monday after the SWAT team confirmed no suspects were inside the mall, though some stores remained closed Monday night.