OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A man suspected of shooting another man during an argument inside an Oklahoma City mall, prompting frightened shoppers to hide, was jailed after surrendering to police, authorities said Friday.
Capt. Larry Withrow said Elizha Sanders, 24, is in custody for the Thursday shooting that wounded Gerron Cobb, 22, inside Penn Square Mall.
The Oklahoma City Police Gang Unit, Criminal Intelligence Unit and U.S. Marshals were able to contact Sanders, who was arrested about 1:30 a.m. Friday in the nearby city of Moore, Withrow said.
Online jail records show Sanders was booked on a complaint of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, but do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf. Those records do not show that formal charges have been filed.
The shooting forced the mall to close as police spent hours searching stores and clearing out shoppers who had taken cover. Withrow said video footage from the mall shows the suspect leaving just after the fight.
Cobb was shot in the chest. Withrow said Cobb remained hospitalized Friday, but did not reveal his condition.
Police said the suspect, wearing sweatpants but no shirt, was seen fleeing from the area near the Foot Locker shoe store. Withrow said the shooting happened in the Foot Locker following what witnesses described as an argument and physical altercation between the two men.
“When the shooting started, there were bunch of people hid in closets, hid in back rooms, locked the stores,” Sgt. Kris Gellenbeck said earlier. “So they’re having to go store to store to clear the civilians out and look for the suspect.”
The shooting came amid the busy holiday shopping season. Those standing in the mall’s parking lot after the shooting included a person dressed as Santa Claus.
Amari Lafevers, who works at J.C. Penney in the mall, told The Oklahoman that she was completing a sale at a cash register when people started running and saying, “Shots fired! Shots fired!”
“You know it’s kind of surreal because you don’t really know what to do in that moment,” she said. “It’s just you don’t really think it will happen to us until it does.”
Among those evacuated from the mall were members of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had been at a private movie screening. A team spokesman says the team was never in any danger.