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Police chief to Northwoods Mall workers after triple shooting: ‘We’ve got your back’

Updated: Feb. 16, 2021 at 7:58 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - North Charleston’s police chief walked through Northwoods Mall Tuesday meeting with store managers days after a shooting there sent three people to the hospital.

Chief Reggie Burgess went door to door in the mall to speak with business owners and employees.

Burgess said his agency will not allow “one uncivilized person” to stop families from shopping in the mall.

He said he and his family are still going to shop at the mall and wants other families to do the same, knowing the police are going to be putting new measures in place to deter violence.

“Anytime there’s an event here at this mall, whatever it is small or large, we are going to be here ahead of time,” Burgess said. “They’re going to, the property owners, are going to increase the cameras and we’re going to increase our patrols.”

Burgess said the police department is actively working with the mall’s managers. He said for shoppers to expect to see extra signage.

“We want to be here so you can see a presence and know that when you’re here, you’re going to be safe while you shop and safe when you leave out there as well,” Burgess said. “We’ve got other things we are going to be working on. But the mall management has already stepped in and is going to work with us on our goals.”

As he spoke to workers at the mall today, he handed out business cards and encouraged them to call if they see any suspicious activity.

Burgess acknowledged there’s been three shootings at the mall in recent years, but said neither the mall nor shoppers were targets in these cases. He said they stem from violence or fights in the community that spill over and manifest in violence at the mall.

“My wife shops here, my son and my daughter, my family. My parents. We are not going to let one individual or any individual stop us from shopping at this mall.”

An unidentified gunman opened fire in an open area of the mall Sunday afternoon. Three people were wounded. Two of them suffered minor, non-life-threatening injuries, while the third victim was listed in serious condition, Lt. Matt Hughes said in a news conference Sunday afternoon.

Police responded shortly after 1:30 p.m. to a report of the shooting and quickly determined it was not an active shooter situation. Officers cleared the mall and began processing the scene.

They obtained surveillance images from inside the mall and released a still showing a person of interest they are trying to identify.

North Charleston Police released this surveillance image of a person they say is a possible...
North Charleston Police released this surveillance image of a person they say is a possible suspect in a shooting at Northwoods Mall that left three people wounded.(North Charleston Police)

Police have increased their presence in the mall since the shooting. Investigators say they think the gunman had an intended target who was not injured and say the three victims were in the immediate area when the gunfire began.

Anyone who recognizes the person in the photo is asked to call North Charleston Police at 843-743-7200.

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