California girl, 9, shot at mall was waiting to take photos with Easter Bunny, report says

Suspect arrested in Nevada, bail set at $1 million

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A 9-year-old California girl mistakenly shot Tuesday at a mall when a store owner opened fire on alleged shoplifters was waiting to take photos with the Easter Bunny, according to a local report.

The third-grader, whom family identified to FOX11 Los Angeles as Ava, was getting ready to take pictures with the Easter Bunny at the Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville when the chaos unfolded, the girl’s grandmother told the station.

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Ava’s mother told the station that she was still in pain and recovering from her injuries.

A 9-year-old girl, whom family identified as Ava, was wounded when she was struck by a stray bullet a store owner fired at alleged shoplifters, according to local reports.

A 9-year-old girl, whom family identified as Ava, was wounded when she was struck by a stray bullet a store owner fired at alleged shoplifters, according to local reports. (FOX11 Los Angeles KTTV)

San Bernardino County deputies said they received reports of a shooting at the mall just before 6:30 p.m. and were alerted that a child had been shot. Deputies rendered aid to the child, who was rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center. 

The mall was subsequently placed on lockdown for the remainder of the day.

Emergency services responded to a shooting incident at a mall in Victorville, where a person was shot Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

Emergency services responded to a shooting incident at a mall in Victorville, where a person was shot Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (FOX11 Los Angeles KTTV)

A stray bullet had struck the child when authorities say Marquel Cockrell, the co-owner of Sole Addicts, chased multiple people he accused of shoplifting out of the store and opened fire, the report said. He missed the intended targets, striking the child instead and quickly fled the scene.

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Cockrell, 20, was located around 9 p.m. in Nevada by the Nevada Highway Patrol and taken into custody on a warrant for attempted murder. 

He had his bail set at $1 million.