Day 2 in trial for suspect in UP Mall fatal shooting
Dazhon Howard has been charged with one count of murder.
On Monday, a jewelry store employee and the pathologist who conducted the autopsy testified.
On Tuesday, the first witness is the man who went to the mall with Dazhon on September 12, 2020, the day of the shooting, Dreichon Pates.
Pates testified he, his girlfriend, his child, Dazhon and Dazhon’s child went to the mall that day to return a pair of shoes.
While returning the shoes, Pates recognized Crosby who was standing near a different store in the mall.
Pates said they tried to ignore Crosby.
When the shooting happened, Pates grabbed Dazhon’s child and ran from the mall.
Pates testified he didn’t see Dazhon do anything to escalate the situation.
Crosby threatened everyone who was with Dazhon, Pates said.
The next witness is Michael Norby of the Mishawaka Police Department, who was a crime scene investigator with the Metro Homicide Unit at the time of the shooting.
Norby explained how he processes the scene of a homicide.
He explained the evidence that was collected at the scene and the state showed crime scene photos.
Norby confirmed Dazhon’s firearm was legally purchased.
The gun was found in the backpack, Norby testified.
He testified Crosby didn’t have a weapon.
The next witness was at the mall and witnessed the shooting. She ran inside American Eagle after the shooting.
She witnessed Dazhon with the handgun and firing shots.
She worked at American Eagle and did not want to work outside the store that day because sometimes there was trouble. This happened while most of the stores still had pandemic related restrictions on entering stores.
She testified she saw Dazhon take a swing at someone before the shooting. She said she thought they were friends and were messing around until the shooting happened.
The defense alleged she is the only person who saw Dazhon take a swing.
The state then called George Ritter to the stand. He was in the mall the day of the shooting. He saw a group in front of Status and he noticed another group walking near FYE.
He heard shouting and loud voices in front of Athens a short time later.
He couldn’t hear what was said.
The next witness, Mary Carol Lombard, was at the mall on the day of the shooting. While she was looking at books at Barnes and Noble, she heard screaming and loud noises. An employee told her there was an active shooter in the mall.
Lombard said she didn’t panic cause she was a school teacher and had gone through a lot of drills so she walked towards the front door of the store.
She said a person wearing pumpkin orange went by and she saw a backpack next to her feet. She said she was going to tell that person they dropped their backpack but he was already outside.
She did hear the shooting.
She showed police the backpack left behind.
Next, the state called Lt. Eric Laudeman of the Mishawaka Police Department, who was one of the first officers on the scene. He collected the backpack that was dropped by a man in an orange sweatshirt near the entrance to the Barnes and Noble.
He put the backpack into his patrol vehicle.
The final witness was Sergeant Eric Petersen of the Mishawaka Police Department. He was also one of the first officers who arrived on scene.
He recovered an orange sweatshirt from the parking lot.
The court then read several facts into evidence that had been agreed upon between the state and the defense.
It included forensic testing that showed DNA consistent with Dazhon Howard on the orange sweatshirt collected from the parking lot, and on the trigger of the handgun.
Court then recessed for the day.