Crime 3 charged with helping Mall of America shooting suspects flee
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Police have arrested and charged three people, including two Best Western hotel employees, for allegedly helping the suspects in last week's shooting at the Mall of America flee authorities. Denesh Raghubir, 21, Selena Raghubir, 23, and Delyanie Kwen-Shawn Arnold, 23, are each charged with one count of aiding an offender to avoid arrest, according to the criminal complaint.
Last Thursday, the Mall of America was placed on after shots were fired in what police called an "isolated incident" in the Bloomington, Minnesota, shopping center. Bloomington Police chief Booker Hodges said that there had been an altercation between two groups near the cash registers of the Nike store. One of the groups left, but then returned, and one person fired three shots into the store, Hodges said. No injuries have been reported.
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During a press conference on Monday, Hodges identified the alleged shooter as 21-year-old Shamar Lark, who is being sought on suspicion of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, intentional discharge of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit in a public place, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County.
His alleged accomplice, 23-year-old Rashad May, is being sought on suspicion of aiding an offender to avoid arrest, court documents showed.
Hodges told reporters that Lark and May lost a fight involving multiple other people at a Nike store in the Mall of America. They later returned after May told Lark to shoot up the store, Hodges said, and Lark fired three shots into the crowded sneaker store before both men fled the scene.
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A judge dismissed state gun charges Wednesday against two men who police said planned a Fourth of July mass shooting in Virginia's capital after charges were filed against the men in federal court. Neither man has been charged specifically with planning a mass shooting. Julio Alvarado-Dubon and Rolman Balcarcel-Bavagas, both Guatemalan immigrants, were charged in state court last month with possession of a firearm by a non-U.S. citizen. Richmond police held a news conference to announce that they had thwarted a July Fourth mass shooting planned by the men.
The two then contacted Arnold and asked him for help to escape the mall following the shooting, Hodges said. Arnold then reached out to his girlfriend Selena Raghubir, an assistant general manager at a Best Western Hotel located near the mall, who sent her cousin Denesh, another employee at the hotel, to drive the hotel shuttle to an Ikea parking lot and pick up Lark and May, according to Hodges.
Denesh Raghubir then drove Lark and May to the Best Western, where Arnold picked them up and took them to a Bloomington home that he shares with Selena Raghubir, Hodges said.
Hodges said that Denesh lied to officers who had tracked the shuttle to the Best Western, making them believe the two suspects were still at the hotel after they had left. Police then placed the hotel on lockdown to search for Lark and May.
"We were there for a long time when we could have been looking for them," Hodges said.
Lockdown lifted after shooting at Mall of America
A suspect fled on foot and remains at large, police said.Video posted to social media showed police with rifles responding to the scene as panicked shoppers ran for safety.
The criminal complaint also alleges that "the assistance provided by Selena Raghubir, Denesh Raghubir and Arnold and the misinformation provided to police resulted in the flight of [the two men] and the interference in the investigation of the shooting at the Mall of America."
Lark and May remain on the run with nationwide warrants for their arrests. Police warned that anyone else who offers them aid would also be arrested.
"You cannot, in a free society, continue to enjoy all the freedoms that we have when you're gonna show a complete lack of respect for humanity by firing into a crowded mall store," Hodges said Monday. "We cannot tolerate that as a society."
On Monday, Best Western released a statement supporting the hotel's decision to fire the Raghubir cousins and said their actions do not represent their values.
"We are deeply saddened by the violence that took place at the Mall of America last week and our thoughts are with the Minneapolis community," the statement read. "Noting this hotel is independently owned and operated, we support the hotel's decision to immediately terminate the employees who were allegedly involved in this terrible event. The actions of these employees stand in stark contrast to our brand's values and the sense of community that is at the heart of our hotel family."
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