AP

Police: Girl shot as California shop owner fires at thieves

Apr 13, 2022, 11:06 AM | Updated: Apr 14, 2022, 4:46 am

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California shoe store owner opened fire at two shoplifters, police said, but mistakenly shot a 9-year-old girl about to get her picture with a mall Easter bunny. The store owner fled the state and was arrested in Nevada, authorities said Wednesday.

Marqel Cockrell, 20, was chasing the shoplifters out of the store Tuesday evening at the Mall of Victor Valley in the small city of Victorville when he “fired multiple shots at the shoplifters,” Victorville police said in a statement.

“Cockrell’s shots missed the shoplifters and instead hit the 9-year-old female victim,” the statement said.

The girl, identified by family members as Ava Chruniak, had been getting ready for pictures with the Easter bunny in the mall when the shots were fired, said her grandmother, Robin Moraga-Saldarelli. The girl was left with three gunshot wounds, including two in her arm, Moraga-Saldarelli said.

One bullet fractured a bone.

“And it’s the kind of fracture they can’t surgically fix. She’s going to have to wear a special brace for it, and it’s going to take a lot longer to heal,” she told Fox 11 TV in Los Angeles.

“It’ll be awhile before the bone heals and then we will see the extent of the nerve damage, but she’s a trooper. She really is a tough little kid,” Moraga-Saldarelli told KNBC-TV.

Deputies responding to the reports of gunfire found Ava wounded at about 6:30 p.m., the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

She was airlifted to a hospital in stable condition, officials said. The mall’s stores were locked down and customers sheltered inside as deputies searched for the shooter.

Cockrell, a co-owner of the shoe store Sole Addicts, was arrested in his car at about 9 p.m. in Clark County by the Nevada Highway Patrol, Victorville police said.

He was being held Wednesday for lack of $1 million bail at the Clark County Detention Center “on an extraditable warrant, for attempted murder,” Victorville police said. An extradition hearing was scheduled for Thursday and jail and court records did not indicate whether Cockrell had an attorney representing him who could comment on his behalf.

“I’m glad they caught him and he will definitely pay for this. I really hope they throw the book at him,” Moraga-Saldarelli told KNBC-TV.

The mall was closed Tuesday after the shooting and reopened on Wednesday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

14 hours ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

15 hours ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

5 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

6 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

13 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Police: Girl shot as California shop owner fires at thieves