WAUWATOSA, Wis. - Wauwatosa police said a 15-year-old was arrested in Friday's shooting at Mayfair Mall that injured 8. Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said in an update on Sunday, Nov. 22 this was an altercation between two groups, injuring four “innocent bystanders."
A Wauwatosa Police Department spokeswoman added Sunday: "Several arrests have been made, but we are still investigating those."
Chief Weber said the 15-year-old is Hispanic -- and a firearm was recovered at the scene of his arrest. Weber said he didn’t release photos of the alleged shooter to preserve the investigation and because an initial investigation did not reveal an immediate danger to the public.
The chief offered few details on the arrest, only that it took place after the young man had left the mall property on foot after Friday's shooting. A Wauwatosa Police Department spokeswoman said he was arrested Saturday night following the execution of search warrants. Chief Weber said he believes the boy was arrested during a traffic stop.
The chief said the shooter exited the mall as shoppers were running out. The chief said the process to clear the mall (all 1.2 million square feet) took six hours with seven tactical teams.
This, after calls came in for shots fired at 2:49 p.m. Friday. Chief Weber said first responders were on scene within 30 seconds, with their first priorities being securing the mall and rendering first aid. Police said Sunday those injured were continuing to recover, and that most had been released from the hospital.
Chief Weber said Mayfair Mall is a safe place, telling reporters, "This is an incident that can happen at any time and any place." He encouraged people to "show support" for Mayfair.
Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride echoed that statement, telling reporters he planned to head to the mall "as soon as I'm leaving here," adding that he's "never had a problem shopping at Mayfair and I never will."
Investigators said Saturday they were still searching for the man responsible, described by Wauwatosa police as a white man in his 20s or 30s. “Investigators are working tirelessly to identify and apprehend the suspect from yesterday’s shooting at Mayfair Mall,” the Wauwatosa Police Department said in a tweet Saturday.
“Preliminary statements from witnesses indicate that the shooter is a white male in his 20s or 30s,” Weber told reporters Friday. “Investigators are working on determining the identity of that suspect.”
The Wauwatosa police chief said initial information that was put out regarding the shooter "was erroneous" as to "who we were looking for," adding that they "thought it was a white male, but didn't have an age." As the investigation progressed and they focused in on who was responsible and began developing leads, Weber said they began to believe it was "somebody younger."
The mayor added that investigators must balance getting information out to the public while also making sure that the information being shared is factual and accurate, and that the release of such information does not compromise the investigation.