Two teens are behind bars for allegedly shooting a security guard outside of the Apple Store in Atlanta’s upscale Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead.
The two 15-year-olds, one male and one female, allegedly tried to enter the store after hours Sunday night when they were approached by the security guard, according to Atlanta police.
The guard was shot once in the torso before the teens fled, police said. The security guard, a man in his early 40s, was in critical but stable condition on Monday, Atlanta police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton said at a news conference.
The mall had closed at 6 p.m. on Sunday but police believe the teenagers’ “end goal was to try to gain access into the Apple store” after the shooting but were unsuccessful, according to Hampton as reported by ABC News.
After the shooting, the teens “were definitely trying to hide their clothing” and they apparently tossed a few items as they fled, Hampton added.
Witnesses at the mall gave officers a description of the suspects, and within 10 minutes, police said they found the two teenagers outside a nearby Westin as the result of officers setting up a perimeter around the mall.
Police said the teens were arrested and charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, possession of a firearm by a person under 18 and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Police added that a gun was recovered at the scene. The suspects will not be identified as they are minors.
The investigation is ongoing, with Hampton adding that police are looking to identify the driver of a small blue car who may have taken the teens to the mall for the commission of the robbery.
“We are working very closely with the Fulton County District attorney’s office as we move forward to the prosecution,” Hampton said.
The Lenox Square Mall had the following, “We cannot find words strong enough to condemn this violent and unprovoked action against a valued member of our security team who was providing afterhours patrol outside the mall. Our hearts go out to this officer who was brutally attacked, and we are praying for his full recovery.”
“We are immensely grateful to the APD for their strong partnership,” Lenox Square added. “Because of our longstanding work together and effective response plans, they were on the scene within minutes, rendering critical aid to our colleague and swiftly capturing the criminals involved.”
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