Police Arrest Two Suspects In Fashion Place Shooting As Concerns Raised Over Mall’s Evacuation Plans
Police have arrested two men suspected of involvement in Sunday’s shooting outside Fashion Place Mall in Murray, as some local lawmakers who were at the scene questioned the mall’s safety procedures.
Nineteen-year-olds Jesus Joshua Payan-Mendoza and Jorge Luis Crecencia-Gonzalez were booked Monday in what Murray police are considering a gang-related shooting.
“At some point there was a verbal altercation between the members of the two separate gangs,” said Officer Ken Bass, a spokesman for Murray police.
Bass said one group followed the other just outside of the mall when a person pulled out a gun and fired.
A man who was shot in the back remains in critical condition. Another woman, who was shot in the leg, was released from Intermountain Medical Center in Murray on Sunday.
Police are still investigating who is responsible for firing the shots and are hoping to interview additional suspects.
Some witnesses at the scene say the shooting revealed security lapses in the mall’s evacuation protocols.
Carol Moss a Democratic state lawmaker, was about to start her weekly mall walk near Crate and Barrel when she heard the fire alarm.
Because the gunfire could not be heard at that end of the mall, she said many people lingered for 10 to 15 minutes after the first alarm went off.
“People didn’t take the evacuation notice seriously because it’s happened before — those false alarms,” she said.
Bass, the police spokesman, confirmed that the fire alarm that was triggered was unrelated to the shooting and part of a malfunctioning alert system, causing additional confusion among mall patrons.
“The Murray police and the sheriff's department ought to talk with the mall’s management about their evacuation procedures,” said Moss.
Moss says the episode has shattered a sense of safety at a popular gathering spot for families and those in her district.
Two other state lawmakers, Rep. Karen Kwan and Rep. Marie Poulsen, also talked about their experiences at the mall on Sunday with media outlets.
Kwan said she had just pulled into the parking lot with her 12-year-old daughter when she saw people evacuating. Although initially scared, she said her daughter was soon ready to return to the mall.
“The question for me is, ‘Do they get used to it?’ and what happens when they get used to it?” said Kwan. “And again, none of us should be used to it.
Asked whether the shooting would catch the attention of state lawmakers this session amid a national dialogue around gun reform, Rep. Moss was skeptical.
“My cynical response is no, it probably won’t change the dialogue on guns,” said Moss.