A store owner at a southern California mall mistakenly shot and injured a 9-year-old girl while she waited to see the Easter Bunny on Tuesday.
According to the Victorville Police Department, the incident occurred around 6:30 PM at the Victor Valley Mall in San Bernardino County, California.
Marqel Cockrell, 20, fled the scene and was arrested in Nevada a few hours after the shooting.
Cockrell is co-owner of the shoe store Sole Addicts at the Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville in San Bernardino County.
Ava Chruniak, 9, was getting ready to see the Easter Bunny with her family when Cockrell shot her.
“Cockrell’s shots missed the shoplifters and instead hit the 9-year-old female victim,” the Victorville Police Department said in an update.
Deputies responding to the shooting found the girl suffering from at least one gunshot wound.
Chruniak was airlifted to a hospital in stable condition and is in stable condition.
According to a GoFundMe campaign set up to help Ava with her hospital bills, she suffered a broken arm and two bullet wounds.
“No child deserves this. She was at the mall going for Easter pictures with the bunny. She is such a sweet loving girl and loves reading her books,” her mother, Natalie, wrote on the fundraising page.
Cockrell was arrested after fleeing to Nevada after the shooting and is now facing an attempted murder charge.
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