ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. — Three people are charged after a shooting at St. Clair Square Mall left one person injured Thursday.
Jeremiah Handy, Ronnie Edmonds, and Andre Gillespie have each been charged for their part in an exchange of gunfire in the mall.
Emergency Management Director Herb Simmons said police were called to the mall Thursday afternoon for a report of a shooting. Tim Mueller, a spokesman for the Fairview Heights Police Department, said at least one person was shot and they are investigating if another person was shot.
Mueller said two people were taken into custody in connection with the shooting and two guns were recovered. Investigators said the men knew each other.
The shooting happened outside the Helzberg Diamonds store and sent shoppers and workers scrambling for safety.
"It was so nerve-racking," said one employee.
"This is terrible, it's a nightmare," shouted a frightened Susan Harris.
Outside, moms held on to their kids.
A frantic Harris was worried about her 33-year-old daughter and her 11-year-old grandson, who were inside the mall shopping at the time.
Harris said her daughter came face to face with a man carrying a gun.
"He walked right past her. He had a gun," Harris said. "She saw the whole thing. She said mom I thought I was gonna die! With my grandson."
Investigators said the gunfire ripped across the air on the first floor of the mall.
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the Fairview Heights mall, immediately shut it down, combed the grounds, and kept shoppers and employees inside.
"The reason why we weren't being let out was because they told us possible suspects were over at Cheddar's Restaurant. You see this on the news, but you never think you're gonna get caught in it, " said Emma Pritchard, an assistant manager at Rue 21.
Handy has been charged with Aggravated Battery with a Firearm (Class X), Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (Class 1), Possession of a Firearm without Requisite Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, (Class 3), Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (Class 4), and Obstructing Justice (Class 4). His bond was set at $150,000.
Edmonds has been charged with Obstructing Justice (Class 4), Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (Class 4), and Possession of a Firearm without Requisite Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, (Class 3). His bond was set at $75,000.
Gillespie has been charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (Class 4), and Possession of a Firearm without Requisite Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (Class 3). His bond was set at $40,000.
All three men are in custody, according to a release Friday afternoon.
In August of 2020, a disturbance between two men led to gunshots outside the mall's food court.
The mall was closed for the night while police conducted an investigation.
This story will be updated when more information becomes available.