March 6, 2010
Albemarle County Police say a large scale disorder involving 100 young people forced police to close Fashion Square Mall early Friday night.
Police say at around 7:00 pm, officers found a large crowd of juveniles divided into several groups apparently starting fights in the parking lot of the mall near the Belk's Men's and Home Store. Police say a weapon was recovered at the scene and there were reports of firearms being brandished.
For public safety reasons, Albemarle County Police and Fashion Square Mall Management decided to temporarily close the gates while the Mall was evacuated. After an hour, order was restored and the Mall re-opened. The Mall is open Saturday.
Police say one juvenile was injured in the fight, but the injury was non life-threatening.
Witnesses of the fight tell the Newsplex that the teenager with the gun was wearing a blue hoodie.
"After the fight we kind of came back in, and a guy with a gun came in and he was standing five feet from me, and he was like 'were you the ones who jumped my cousin,' and he ran around the mall with a gun." Albemarle County High School student Keanan Brown says he wasn't afraid. "I didn't think he was going to start shooting everybody."
Brown says the fight was more like an attack: fifteen teens on two.
"I didn't expect for it to be guys getting jumped. It was two kids and they got their butts handed to them. I don't know why they fought them, but I just know they had beef with them," says Brown. He says one of the victim's cousins had the gun.
There are no arrests at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
The mall issued this statement:
"The primary concern for the management of Fashion Square Mall is always for the safety and well being of our shoppers and mall employees, and we work closely with local authorities to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of individuals in the mall. We remain committed to providing a safe shopping environment with a stellar record of safety."--Charlottesville Fashion Square
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.