LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A shooting at a Little Rock mall Saturday afternoon has people questioning where they go shopping.
Saturday afternoon, an 18-year-old was shot in the east parking lot of the Park Plaza Mall off University Ave. and Markham Street in Midtown Little Rock. Little Rock Police are still investigating the case, but say the man is in critical condition.
The shooting shocked neighbors in the area, who say the area has had its ups and downs in terms of crime but generally seems pretty safe.
“Does it surprise me that it happened there, yes,” said Kaylon Jones who works in Midtown. “Does it surprise me that it happened? no, not really.”
Jones was in the area when the shots rang out. He says he missed the initial chaos, but soon saw police cars racing to the scene.
He says where he works in Midtown has its own private security, a visible presence that keeps an eye out for danger.
“They always check the back parking lot where we have a lot of people walking around, a lot of cars are back there….making sure they’re not being broken into,” Jones explained.
With a security presence around the Park Avenue Apartments and Target, Jones says he feels comfortable enjoying the area as he always has.
But other neighbors are keeping an eye on their surroundings after the violent crime.
“It’s just unfortunate,” said Chris Werner, a neighbor who frequents Midtown. “There’s been some bad incidents at the mall over the years.” One such incident involved a similar shooting in 2019, which occurred in the mall’s parking garage. Werner says he teaches his two teenagers to “keep their head on a swivel” when they’re shopping.
In terms of security, Werner says he’s seen an increase after the shooting but would like to see more.
“Certainly this morning, I saw a lot more security, paid security around,” he said, “but it would be nice to see more actual police cars.”