Local News

Rocky Mount police seek mall shooting suspect

Posted December 27, 2009 8:55 a.m. EST
Updated December 29, 2009 5:35 p.m. EST

— Rocky Mount police officers are searching for Risheem Robinson, 18, who was accused of shooting inside Golden East Crossing Mall, at 1100 N. Wesleyan Blvd., around 7 p.m. Saturday.

Robinson shot at three young men – ages 16, 15 and 14 – in the mall's common area near the entrance to Best Buy, Rocky Mount police Capt. Laura Fahnestock said. No one was injured, but a wall and glass doors were damaged.

Police arrested the 16-year-old, Murray Chamberlain, and the 14-year-old, whose name was not released. The 15-year-old was released after questioning. Police charged Chamberlain and the 14-year-old with resist, obstruct or delay.

Officers obtained warrants for Robinson for four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Rocky Mount police at 252-972-1411 or Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.

An off-duty officer working at the mall first reported the shooting Saturday night. Upon investigating the gunshots, officers saw several young men running from the mall, across U.S. Highway 301 to the Auto Bell Car Wash, Fahnestock said.

An off-duty officer apprehended one of the suspects at that location. An additional suspect was located in the same area a few minutes later. After further investigation, the 15-year-old was detained behind Star City at Hilltop Plaza.

Jennifer Bowden, 39, of Nashville, was inside the Best Buy store shopping for a digital camera when the shooting happened. She said she didn't see anything. As a result Bowden says she is unable to identify any of the shooters.

Bowden did hear gunshots, which prompted everyone inside the store to begin running.

"Everyone was just running as fast as they could to run to their cars and trying to get out," she said.

A worker inside the PETCO store, which is near the Best Buy, said people hid behind fish tanks after hearing the shots.

“I was scared out of my mind, but I handled it pretty well. We made an announcement that everyone move to the center of the store and get safe,” PETCO employee Karie Poulin said.

The mall was temporarily closed as part of a lock down to ensure the safety of the public, Fahnestock said.