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Cops: California store owner shoots shoplifters, hits girl


Police say Southern California shoe store owner opened fire on shoplifters but mistakenly injured a 9-year-old girl, fled the state and was arrested in Nevada.

VICTORVILLE, Calif. – A Southern California shoe store owner opened fire on shoplifters but mistakenly injured a 9-year-old girl, fled the state and was arrested in Nevada , police said Wednesday.

Marqel Cockrell, 20, was chasing shoplifters from the store on Tuesday night at the Victor Valley Mall in the small town of Victorville when he “fired multiple shots at the shoplifters”, said Victorville police in a statement.

“Cockrell’s shots missed the shoplifters and instead hit the victim, a 9-year-old girl,” the statement said.

Deputies responding to reports of gunfire found the girl with gunshot wounds around 6:30 p.m., the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

The girl, who has not been identified, was airlifted to a hospital in stable condition, officials said. Shops in the mall were locked and shoppers took shelter inside as deputies searched for the shooter.

Cockrell, co-owner of Sole Addicts shoe store, was arrested in his car around 9 p.m. in Clark County, Nevada by Nevada High Patrol, Victorville police said.

He was being held in default of $1 million bond at the Clark County Detention Center Wednesday “on an extradition warrant, for attempted murder,” Victorville police said. An extradition hearing was scheduled for Thursday, and prison and court records did not indicate whether Cockrell had an attorney representing him who could comment on his behalf.

The mall was closed on Tuesday after the shooting and reopened on Wednesday.

ABC News

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