15-Year-Old Girl Injured in Danbury Fair Mall Shooting, Description of Shooter at Large Released
UPDATE: Danbury Police Chief Ridenhour took to YouTube on Thursday afternoon (August 12) to provide the public with an update on the shooting that occurred at the Danbury Fair Mall Wednesday night.
In his address, Chief Ridenhour made it known that the victim, who is actually a 15-year-old female, not a 16-year-old as police previously reported, is currently in stable condition after being transferred from Danbury Hospital to Connecticut Children's Hospital in Hartford to be treated for her single gunshot wound that she sustained in her upper-chest.
While the young female victim's identity is still being withheld due to the active investigation, the Danbury Police Chief said that video footage shows that the victim was in fact part of the group of people involved in the initial altercation that led to the shooting, and was not necessarily a random mall patron as earlier reports may have implied.
Ridenhour went on to say that detectives have described the sole suspect as a dark-skinned male with a thin build and shoulder length dreadlocks, and is believed to possibly be in his early teens. While Danbury authorities are confident that the suspect will be apprehended in a quick manner, they say that they strongly encourage him to turn himself in as soon as possible.
The chief then went on to reiterate that police believe this situation to be an isolated incident and that there is no ongoing risk to the general public.
From there, Ridenhour thanked all of the police departments and the emergency personnel throughout Greater Danbury who assisted the DPD in various way throughout the time of the incident. He also thanked the management and security teams at the Danbury Fair Mall for their professionalism and efficiency in handling the intense situation before acknowledging the people who were in the mall at the time of the shooting and subsequent lock down.
"Thank you to the patrons and workers at the danbury fair mall last night," said Ridenhour. "The overwhelming majority of you remained calm and patient during what I am sure was one of the most stressful times of your lives. Your cooperation was greatly appreciated and allowed us to get the situation under control as quickly as possible."
Anyone with information that can assist with this investigation is urged to contact lead investigator, Detective Carroccio at P.Carroccio@Danbury-CT.gov, the Detective Bureau at 203-797-4662, or the Confidential TIPS line at 203-790-8477.
A local teenager has been shot in an incident that prompted the Danbury Fair Mall to go into lockdown on Wednesday night (August 11).
Following reports by a number of sources across social media, the City of Danbury released a statement explaining that as of 7:02 PM, and contrary to early reports that a woman in her 50s had been shot, first responders found that a 16-year-old female was left with a gunshot wound to her chest. Police say she was coherent as Danbury emergency personnel transported her to the hospital.
In a press conference late Wednesday night, Danbury Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour announced that investigators believe that the young female victim was actually an innocent bystander who may have gotten in the way of the intended target.
“It appears she was innocent. It appears there was another target," said Chief Ridenhour. "We do have some information that a male was running from the scene carrying a hammer. We believe he may have been the target but she got in the way."
Ridenhour said that through video footage obtained by police, it's apparent that the shooting was sparked by an altercation inside of the mall, near Macy's department store, which involved about eight people. The videos also reportedly indicate that all of the people believed to have been involved in the altercation fled the Danbury Fair Mall immediately after the shooting and the 16-year-old victim was found outside.
As the Danbury Police Department responded to the scene, the Connecticut State Police, members of the FBI, and officers from Brookfield, Bethel, and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office were called in to assist the Danbury Police Department, as residents were advised to avoid the area of Backus Ave.
From there, the Danbury Fair Mall was placed into lockdown, with unsuspecting patrons being forced to shelter in place throughout the shopping center.
Although the mall was completely locked down for about 90 minutes during the initial part of the investigation, occupants were still being slowly ushered out of the building by police until around 11:00 PM on Wednesday.
As of this writing, the medical condition of the teenage girl is unknown and her identity is not being made public due to her age. Police did say, however, that her wounds appear to be non-life threatening.
With no arrests having been made as of Thursday morning (August 12), the investigation is still under way, and we'll continue to keep you updated as more information unfolds.
As word spread about the shooting, many local residents reached out to us and took to social media to express their concern. Although the footage is a bit grainy, our listener Southern Rock Joe sent us this video of the police activity via our mobile app: