Ava Chruniak, 9, Shot Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville; Shop Owner Arrested

 Ava Chruniak, 9, Shot at Victor Valley Mall in Victorville; Shop Owner Arrested Girl Struck by Two Bullets at Mall of Victor Valley

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (April 13, 2022) — Ava Chruniak, 9, was in line to see the Easter Bunny at the Mall of Victor Valley when she was mistakenly struck by two bullets from a store owner chasing down shoplifters.

The Victorville shooting happened around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12th, according to the Victorville Police Department.

Marqel Cockrell, 20, of Adelanto, co-owner of Sole Addicts at the Mall of Victor Valley, was arrested a few hours later in Nevada. Police say he was shooting at shoplifters when he mistakenly shot and injured the girl. He reportedly fled to Nevada after the incident in San Bernardino County.

Third-Grade Girl Injured, Hospitalized

Medical workers called a helicopter to airlift Ava Chruniak to a hospital where she is being treated for a a serious arm injury from the bullets.

The sheriff’s department acknowledged that Cockrell was attempting to stop shoplifters and did not intend to shoot the girl. However, he missed and shot hit the little girl. Additionally, the store owner left the mall prior to the arrival of police.

Authorities closed down the mall for the remainder of the night and it reopened Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Nevada Highway Patrol located a car belonging to Marqel Cockrell and arrested him, the sheriff’s department said. He is currently being held at a Clark County, Nevada jail. His charges include a warrant for attempted murder and his bail is set at $1 million.

There have been several shootings over the past year at the Mall of Victor Valley.

A 35-year-old man died in November and an 8-year-old girl and her 19-year-old brother were injured.

Additionally, there was a shooting reported in December where a gunman fired shots at two juvenile victims, but missed.

Johnson Attorneys Group does not represent any of the parties mentioned above.  However, if you would like to contribute any information or have legal questions or concerns, please contact us as soon as possible.

James Johnson

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