Police in Wisconsin said they were looking for an “armed and dangerous” teenage suspect who might be responsible for a mall shooting that left one person dead and another wounded Sunday afternoon.
The gunfire sent dozens of terrified shoppers running for their lives while others were forced to shelter in place during a police investigation at Fox River Mall in Grand Chute, a small town about 100 miles north of Milwaukee.
Cops responding to the scene about 3:30 p.m. found two victims with gunshot wounds inside the main mall corridor. One of them, identified as 19-year-old Jovanni Frausto, died from his injuries. The second victim was taken to a hospital for treatment and was later released, authorities said.
Police described the shooting as a “targeted incident,” possibly led by 17-year-old Dezman Ellis.
Authorities respond to the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute, Wis., after two people were shot in the mall Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. (William Glasheen/)
In a statement late Sunday, the Grand Chute Police Department said investigators were trying to locate and speak with the teen for his alleged involvement in the deadly shooting. They believe Ellis may be driving a blue 2012 Dodge Avenger with Wisconsin license plates.
The teen’s possible motive was not immediately known.
It took police about three hours to search the mall and escort those who had sheltered in place during the investigation. Photos from the scene showed employees and shoppers walking out of the building with their hands raised.
“It was very scary, that’s all I could say,” customer Rhex Arboleda, who had been shopping with his wife and four children, told local newspaper Appleton Post-Crescent.
“It gives you anxiety in a way and I don’t know how I would feel the next time I bring my family to the mall,” she said.
Sunday’s incident came just two months after eight people were shot and wounded at another Wisconsin mall. A 15-year-old suspected gunman was arrested at the time after police said an altercation between two groups led to gunfire at the Mayfair Mall in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa.
Grand Chute police urged anyone with information about the latest incident to contact them immediately.