Four people have been charged in the incident at Hamilton Place Mall on Tuesday in which firecrackers were used in a shoplifting scheme. Several people were injured in the ensuing panic.
Police said those involved in the plot carried off about $1,000 in merchandise from The Pink Store. The firecrackers caused some $2,000 in damage to the floor of the store.
The arrest report notes that police and security as well as patrons and employees at the mall initially thought a shooting was taking place and there was an "active shooter" on the loose.
It was later determined to be "the deliberate act of placement of fireworks inside the store sales floor area. Officers who were working extra employment inside the mall documented upon the activation of the pyrotechnics many of the mall patrons became frantic with the idea that an active shooter incident was imminent. Officers indicated that during rush of people trying to escape several persons were injured when they fell or were trampled upon by others that were seeking refuge.
"The initial officers began reviewing the surveillance footage from the store and were able to determine that the act was employed in an effort to commit a large-scale theft."
The arrests were made after police studied numerous videos of the frightening incident.
The videos show two black males and three black females enter the Pink Store at 6:30 p.m. They appeared to be browsing merchandise at the front entrance. Police said it was apparent from their communication and actions that they "were acting in concert together."
They all left, then returned several minutes later. The females began selecting various items of merchandise and carrying them around the store.
A male wearing an American Fighter T-shirt and royal blue tennis shoes is seen retrieving fireworks from his jacket pocket. He lights them and throws them near a wall. Those involved in the plot then began running out of the store along with many others.
Facing charges are Reese "Greedy" Cosby, listed as a member of the 87 Kitchen Crip street gang, and Garrian "Big G" King, described as a well-known member of the Rollin 60s Crip street gang.
Also charged are Darrisha "Resse" Leshaye Landmon and Diamond Monique Jones, the sister of King.
King, 22, of 6324 Shore Manor Dr., is charged with two counts of theft of property, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, having drugs for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a weapon and carrying a firearm to go armed.
Ms. Landmon, 25, of 1400 N. Chamberlain Ave., is charged with theft of property, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment.
Ms. Jones, 20, of 6325 Shore Manor Lane, is charged with theft of property, disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment and aggravated criminal trespass. Police said Ms. Jones had been banned from the mall after a shoplifting arrest on Nov. 12 at Belk at the mall.
Police said it was Cosby who tossed the firecrackers. They said they were able to obtain a photo showing him wearing an American Fighter T-shirt and royal blue tennis shoes elsewhere.