Two teens have been arrested after police connected them to a shooting that caused panic at Cumberland Mall Saturday.
Zaire Dhanoolal, 18, and Joweer Ponce, 19, both of Marietta, were identified as the suspects in the shooting that left one person injured and sent other shoppers scrambling for cover, according to Cobb County police spokeswoman Officer Sydney Melton.
The shooting was the result of a verbal altercation that occurred between two people in the mall’s food court, AJC.com previously reported.
Officers were sent to the mall just after 1 p.m. Saturday and found 18-year-old Ethan Green with a gunshot wound to the neck area. He was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
A second man, 21-year-old Anthony Ezell, was identified as a victim because “the suspect pointed a weapon at him prior to discharging the firearm at Mr. Green,” Melton said.
A heavy police presence converged on the busy mall about 1:30 p.m. as officers responded to 911 calls.
“Yes, shots were fired. But not randomly,” Cobb police wrote on Twitter. “Updated information indicates (the) involved parties know one another.”
Police said the gunman fled the scene after the shooting. Investigators used surveillance footage to tie Dhanoolal and Ponce to the incident.
“It was pure pandemonium,” shopper Adrian Matthews told Channel 2 Action News at the scene. “People started running and knocked over pretty much the entire store. Candles, glass — It was crazy.”
Police previously said multiple shoppers inside the mall experienced panic attacks as people rushed to get out.
Dhanoolal was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and Ponce was charged with reckless conduct and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Both men were taken to the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.
The shooting is still under investigation.
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