Mall of America gunfire: 5 charged; manhunt on for suspected gunman, accomplice
Updated: Aug. 9, 3:40 p.m.
Authorities on Monday charged five people in connection with the gunfire that scattered terrified shoppers Thursday inside the Mall of America and sent the massive shopping center into lockdown.
Three people, including two tied to a local hotel, were charged with aiding the escape of the alleged gunman, Shamar Alon Lark, 21, and his alleged accomplice, Rashad Jamal May, 23.
Lark and May remain at large and will be targets of a nationwide manhunt, Booker Hodges, Bloomington’s police chief, told reporters Monday. Formal charges against Lark and May were issued later in the day; Hodges urged the pair to turn themselves in.
“You cannot come shoot up a mall and think that you're gonna get away with it,” Hodges said. “We're not gonna allow that to happen.”
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Charging documents released Monday say that after the gunfire, May contacted Delyanie Kwen-Shawn Arnold, 23, a friend, for help escaping the mall, and that Arnold then contacted his girlfriend, Selena Raghubir, 23, an assistant manager at the nearby Best Western hotel.
She allegedly had her cousin who works at the hotel, Denesh Raghubir, drive the Best Western shuttle bus to the nearby Ikea parking lot to pick up May and Lark and bring them back to the hotel where prosecutors say Arnold met them and took him to his and Selena Raghubir’s home.
After police found surveillance video of May and Lark getting into the Best Western shuttle, they came to the hotel and questioned Denesh Raghubir, 21, who allegedly told them he had last seen the pair outside smoking, which led to an intense search of the hotel grounds.
Hodges said police lost valuable time during that search.
“It did tie up a lot of law enforcement resources and I believe allowed them to escape," he said.
A day later with a search warrant, investigators discovered in Selena Raghubir’s car the orange shirt worn by May and a white tank top worn by Lark at the time of the shooting, prosecutors said.
Asked why the three helped May and Lark escape, Hodges said, “I don't know. I know that they're all friends. But they’re locked up and those two are running around right now.”
Hodges said the nature of the argument that led to the gunfire is still unknown. Two groups, six people in total, ended up in an altercation by the cashier at the mall’s West Market Nike store. One group left, but then two people that police later identified as Lark and May returned and Lark allegedly fired three shots from a handgun into the store.
Authorities said no one was hit but the shots sent shoppers into a panic and led to the lockdown.
Via KARE 11: Bloomington police update reporters on the pursuit of people tied to the Mall of America gunfire: