INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 29, 2015) — The search continues for two suspects following the shooting of three people inside Washington Square Mall.
The violence broke out Wednesday night at the shopping center on the far east side near 10th Street and Mitthoeffer Road.
The shooting took place in the common area just outside the Target entrance. Police say a suspect started shooting after arguing with another man and was not a random crime.
Listen to the 911 call audio below:
Police are currently searching for two suspects.
“I have a clothing store in the mall and I’ve been here for 19 years. I’m a happy tenant,” said Sean Grant.
As the flashing police lights faded, mall tenant Sean Grant was back at work Thursday morning.
“The incident that happened truly is the first time such incident that has happened in my 19- years of being here,” said Grant.
Grant says the shooting does not define the mall and he hopes customers will keep shopping.
“I’m ready to sign a new lease, a three and half year lease because I’m passionate about what is going on at the mall,” said Grant.
According to IMPD, one suspect is described as a black male, 19 to 20 years old, approximately 6’6″, thin build wearing a black hoodie, armed with a handgun. The second suspect is described as a black male, 19 to 20 years old, approximately 5’10”, thin build, wearing black clothing.
“This was a targeted incident,” said IMPD deputy chief Brian Mahone.
While the shooter may have known one of the victims, investigators say the other two victims were apparently innocent bystanders.
“I hope it doesn’t scare people off because I think we have a safe place here,” said Rev. Jackie Means.
Means lives near the mall and she is a frequent shopper. The shooting didn’t keep her away Thursday.
“Don’t abandon us out here. Don’t abandon the east side because we are still here and still vital,” said Means.
“Violence happens every day, but when it happens in your community or in this case under your roof, you get a little personal about,” said pastor Ethan Maple.
Maple, who oversaw a small prayer vigil at the scene of the shooting, is the lead pastor at the Movie Theatre Church inside the mall.
He hopes the violence doesn’t ruin the image of the east side mall.
“My hope is that our community can come together and stand firm on what it means to be the far east side of Indianapolis and to make sure we don’t let one act of violence define us or push us out the door,” said Maple.
The IMPD does plan to increase patrols around Washington Square Mall, but that mall isn’t alone.
The department will step up patrols at shopping centers all over the city throughout the holiday season.
“We want to let people know that our malls are safe. This could have happened anywhere where these two bumped into each other,” said Mahone. “We know the shopping season starts earlier every year, so we want to make sure they see police officers and people feel safe coming out and bad guys stay away.”
Managers at Washington Square issued a statement saying in part, “The safety of our shoppers and employees is our top priority. As part of our commitment to promoting a safe shopping environment, we maintain a highly-trained staff that is prepared to respond to a variety of emergency situations.”
All three victims suffered non-life threatening injuries. Police identified them as Aaron Carr, 26, Myliah Esco, 20 and Robert Kennedy, 25. Carr is still in the hospital and the other two victims have been released.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.