CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Police say they have arrested a man in connection to the shooting that took place in the food court of Chesterfield Towne Center.
Police said the incident happened around 6:10 p.m. with a fight in the food court that escalated to gunfire.
Officials believe it was only a dispute between two people and not an active shooter.
“I just saw cars zooming past,” a shopper said while sitting in the parking lot.
“I heard it and I’m like, ‘OK it couldn’t be anything.’ Then 20 seconds later, I saw a bunch of kids running saying ‘they’re shooting, they’re shooting'...It was kinda quick. Kinda fast. Rapid shots,” another shopper added.
Witnesses say they heard at least three gunshots.
Two mall employees, who were working at the mall at the time, remember the intense moments following.
“I just saw a bunch of people running to the stock room. I had no idea what happened but when I got back there I heard a mother say someone got shot. I immediately went into panic mode trying to make sure everybody was good,” one employee said.
“I just heard everybody run and scream, and then the back door alarm went off and I was just like ‘oh',” the other added.
Authorities were on the scene in minutes, blocking access to multiple entrances of the mall. They’re reviewing video from inside the mall and speaking with witnesses to try to find the shooter.
“I drove up and the officer behind me, he jumped out of his vehicle with a semi-automatic,” Cheryl Love said after pulling up to the mall.
Everyone in the mall was told to get out as stores closed early for the night. Several nearby businesses also closed early as a result.
“It’s just terrible. It’s a shame,” Love added.
After police arrived on the scene, they located a man suffering from life-threatening injuries. The victim was transported to a local nearby hospital.
On June 24 at 2:00 a.m., detectives located the shooting suspect William Ezell Taylor Jr., 23, of Petersburg. Taylor was seen leaving the scene wearing a white t-shirt, according to police.
Police say Taylor was taken into custody without incident and has been charged with aggravated malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
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