Witness recounts the chaos that ensued after shots rang out at Northpark Mall Saturday

Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) - Residents across the metro are still in shock after shots rang out at Northpark Mall Saturday.

Ridgeland Police arrested and charged 16-year-old Za’Lill D’Chelle Patterson with aggravated assault with a weapon. The teen is behind bars at the Madison County Detention Center, and no bond has been set at this time.

Authorities said Patterson pulled a gun on the owner of a popcorn store that she was trying to steal from.

While the teen was the first to draw a weapon, she was the only person shot.

Police say the store owner managed to shoot Patterson in the leg in what they’re calling self-defense.

Cathy Courtney was inside the mall with her 15-year-old when it all happened.

“It was several shots, and we all just froze,” she said. “We were all kind of ducking down, and people started to run. There was an employee hiding in the bathroom. I mean, people were terrified for their life.”

Courtney said the panic didn’t fully set in until she realized her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend were no longer with her but closer to the gunfire.

“My daughter said that she took off running. She just started running the opposite way, and her boyfriend followed,” she said. “They were able to run to the other side and exit through the mall entrance down at the other end.”

“I’m really glad it was an isolated incident, but at the same time, you want to feel safe when you’re taking your family or your children somewhere like a mall,” Courtney said. “You don’t want to have to worry about whether it’s safe to go with my family and buy something for a homecoming dance.”

As Saturday’s scare continues playing out in her head, Courtney said she’s thankful.

“I’m just thankful to be here and thankful that my children are alive,” she said.

Northpark mall closed after the shooting Saturday but was back open for business the next day.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.