ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A man has been arrested and charged after shots were fired during an argument inside the West County Center.
Friday night, the mall's security said the center went on lockdown after a shot was fired on the second floor. The Des Peres Police Department said two groups of people got into an argument before 8 p.m. when one of them fired the shot. No one was injured. Officers from multiple agencies responded.
A witness News 4 talked to said he saw the gunman fire a shot from the second floor near Dicks then went down the escalator and kept shooting. The witness said he heard at least six gunshots. The witness then ran into the Gap store with several others to hide.
"We were going to stop at one more store ... and all of a sudden, just a loud pop," shopper Chad Pearson said. "I turned back and I see kids start running ... Then three more. Pop. Pop. Pop."
Officers cornered a white car after the shooting and News 4's Ashli Lincoln saw officers question a woman in handcuffs. Lincoln spoke to a family member of the individuals involved in the shooting. They said it started when their relative was leaving the Apple store. At some point that person got into an argument with another group outside the store. A woman then pulled out a gun and fired a shot, according to the family member.
News 4 talked to Matthew Maurer while he was hiding inside the bathroom of California Pizza Kitchen with a dozen other people. He said it wasn't his first time hiding from gunshots. “I immediately felt the fight or flight situation," Maurer said. "I’ve been in a situation like this before at a Starbucks where someone pulled a gun so I ran to the bathroom as fast as I could and just shuffled in.”
People who were hiding in the mall said they were allowed to leave just before 9 p.m.
Monday morning, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office announced that Jaymes Mays, 22, had been arrested and charged in the incident. He faces three counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
Court documents state that Mays was involved in an argument when a Glock 19 pistol fell out of his bag. Mays then allegedly picked up the gun and pointed it another person's head. Officials said Mays then fired the gun in the direction of the Apple Store.
Investigators reportedly found bullet fragments at the wall just right of the Apple store and a shell casing matching the ammo inside the Glock 19 was also found. After being taken into custody, Mays admitted to firing the gun, according to authorities.
Over the weekend, police said they were working to identify other people involved in the incident.
The mall later released the following statement on the shooting:
We take the incident that occurred on Friday very seriously. We maintain a close working relationship with the Des Peres Police Department, which includes a substation on our property. We also have a state of the art security camera system that covers the interior and exterior of the property. The suspect involved in this incident was quickly identified by police using the footage provided by our camera system which led to their immediate arrest. We are thankful there were no injuries and appreciate the quick response by the police.