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A 9-year-old little girl Ava is in stable condition after being shot while waiting in line to see the Easter bunny at a mall in Victorville, Calif.

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Victor Valley Mall, Victorville Police Department said in an initial news release. The girl, whose name is Ava, was transported to a local hospital after the shooting occurred. Although deputies evacuated and searched the mall for the suspect, police were unable to locate them at the time. “No child deserves this she was at the mall going for Easter pictures with the bunny,” her mom, Natalie Moraga, wrote on GoFundMe.She [is] such a sweet loving girl and loves reading her books, she is suffering from 2 gunshot wounds, and her arm is broken!


In an updated news release on Wednesday, police said they had identified the suspect as Marcel Cockrell, co-owner of Sole Addicts, a shoe store located in the Victor Valley Mall. Cockrell, 20, was allegedly chasing two shoplifters out of his store when he fired at them, missed, and struck the 9-year-old girl. He fled the scene but was later located in his car around 9 p.m. by the Nevada Highway Patrol, according to the news release. Cockrell was booked in at the Clark County Jail on an extraditable warrant, for attempted murder, in the amount of $1,000,000, per police. It is not clear if Cockrell has engaged legal representation to comment on his behalf.


The other co-owner of the store addressed what happened on Instagram Wednesday, saying the store will be shut down and calling for justice for Ava. I’m at a loss of words right now WE ALL ARE!!!! This is a co-owner from sole addicts Reaching out to everyone regarding what happened on April 12,” the Instagram read.”The shop will be closing down soon and will remain shut down!!! I’m doing what’s right for our dear lovely 9-year-old girl Ava!!! She deserves her justice!!! And I am %100 with you Ava you are one strong little girl!!!” the Instagram read. A representative for the store did not immediately respondAnyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the Victorville Police Department at (760) 241-2911 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 956-5001.


Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463), and can also leave the information on the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com.

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