Three Las Vegas residents are injured after a dangerous shooting at the Fashion Show mall this past Tuesday night. Countless others were left confused, traumatized, or frightened, as they fled from the scene in panic. The suspect has been apprehended, and our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers expect he will face severe consequences for his actions.
What Happened in the Aftermath of the Incident?
The incident led to a complete evacuation of the mall, located on the Las Vegas Strip. As well, police upped their presence on the Strip after the shootings took place.
Metropolitan Police Captain, Dori Koren, stated that the shooting was an “isolated incident” and not an active shooter. He shared at a news conference Tuesday night, “We’re confident there’s no threat to the immediate area.”
The shooter wasn’t caught until later that night, at approximately 9:40 p.m. He is 18-year-old Christopher Valenzuela-Olivas.
What Led to the Violent Incident to Start?
The shooting started around 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday after a fight erupted inside the Fashion Show Mall. One of the individuals who was shot during the incident was part of the original fight, and the other two were innocent bystanders. All three were taken to the University Medical Center to be treated for their injuries.
Chaos Inside the Mall
A 34-year-old employee at Garra Fish Spas, inside the mall, told the LVRJ that just after the shots were fired, he noticed a man bleeding on the floor near the entrance of Dillard’s. He also saw around 50 people running in scattered directions, after having heard the shots fired.
The employee said it was hard for him not be reminded of the recent Route 91 Harvest music festival from October 2017 – a shooting which is marked as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. “I thought about Mandalay Bay,” he said. “I got so scared and nervous.”
One of the many shoppers who had been in the crowd, running away from the shooting, was 16-year-old Riley Hoover. He had been shopping with a friend and his friend’s mom at the time of the shooting. Hoover shared that he was in a massage chair near Dillard’s when he heard the shots. His friend’s mother, her son, and Riley ran out an exit and into a parking garage where they hid and called Riley’s parents to drive to the mall to pick them all up.
It took nearly two hours for his parents to get there from Silverado Ranch – due to the added Strip chaos after the shooting. Once they finally reunited, Riley’s mom embraced Riley in relief. “Oh, thank God,” she said.
The Body Shop employee Claudia Magdaleno, age 28, said she heard four or five shots before pulling eight people into her store and closing the doors. After the incident, it took her a while to calm down. “It’s just something that you hear about all the time, and you don’t really know what it feels like until it happens to you.”
Metro police detective Koren stated in the news conference, “We have an unbelievable community that knows how to respond to these incidents, deal with them as quickly as possible and limit the damage. Hopefully, this evening we’ve done just that.”
Christopher Valenzuela-Olivas is due in court Thursday, January 23rd, to face a judge (and the consequences for his violent crime).