Suspect in University Park Mall shooting charged, suspect not in custody
Dazhon Howard, 21, has been charged with murder and a felony firearm sentencing enhancement.
Howard has not been taken into custody.
Mishawaka Police were called to the University Park Mall around 2:45 p.m. Saturday for reports of a shooting.
Inside the mall, they found Delaney Crosby, 23, deceased with apparent gunshot wounds, reports said.
Video from social media and store surveillance systems showed a single shooter - a man in an orange hooded sweatshirt, reports said.
Police said just before the shooting, the victim and the shooter's friends had been in a verbal altercation, reports said.
The shooter held a black backpack, pulled a gun from the backpack while standing behind a friend, then came out from behind his friend and fired at the victim, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The victim ducked and the shooter fired multiple shots at the victim, reports said.
The victim fell and everyone else ran from the scene, reports said.
Police said the victim was not seen making any threatening moves in the seconds leading up to the shooting.
Several spent shell casings were recovered near the victim.
The black backpack was recovered outside the mall and contained a semiautomatic handgun, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Police interviewed a woman who was with the alleged shooter at the mall and identified him as Howard, according to the probable cause affidavit.
She knew Howard because he grew up with her boyfriend and said he was wearing a bright orange hoodie, reports said.
While at the mall, she said Crosby called her friends a derogatory name, then asked if they wanted to take it outside where he, "Had something for y'all," according to the probable cause affidavit.
The two sides argued back and forth while walking through the mall, reports said.
She told police Crosby flinched at their group like he was going to do something and Howard drew the gun and fired at Crosby, according to the probable cause affidavit.
She said they all ran and when they got into the car she asked Howard, "What'd you do that for?" reports said.
Another man who was with Howard at the mall said Crosby said something to their group about going outside and a man with Crosby appeared to be clutching, reports said.
When the shooting happened, he said he was surprised and told police he couldn't be pulled into criminal conduct because his family needs him.
He then stated Howard's family needs him too, "but he did this dumb [expletive deleted] man," according to the probable cause affidavit.
If you have any information about his location, please contact the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit at 574-235-5009 or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.