Arrest made in fatal Colorado mall shooting

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FILE – In this Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, file photo, police vehicles sit outside a J.C. Penney store entrance at Town Center at Aurora mall late in Aurora, Colo. Authorities announced Saturday police have arrested 18-year-old Kamyl Xavier Garrette in a mall shooting that killed a 17-year-old boy in the Denver suburb. (Quincy Snowdon/The Aurora Sentinel via AP, File)

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DENVER (AP) — Authorities say police have arrested a suspect in a mall shooting that killed a 17-year-old boy in a Denver suburb.

The capture of 18-year-old Kamyl Xavier Garrette was announced the day after the Friday shooting inside a J.C. Penney store at the Town Center at Aurora mall. Garrette was charged with first-degree murder, according to Aurora police.

The gunfire sent shoppers fleeing for safety and led police to order people to shelter in place until they determined there was no active shooter.

It’s the second shooting this month at the mall, which is in the same city where a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in 2012, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.

Jail records say Garrette is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday morning. It is not clear if he has an attorney representing him yet.

The coroner has yet to identify the boy who was killed. Authorities say officers patrolling the mall responded to reports of gunfire inside the store and found him wounded. He died at a hospital.

A witness, Jalen Martin, told The Denver Post that he was walking in the mall when he heard a noise and saw people running.

“A few of the people who were in the cluster said, ‘He’s shooting; he’s got a gun,’” Martin said.

He sprinted down an escalator and out of the mall as people ran into stores searching for places to hide, he said.

It’s the second shooting in the Aurora mall this month, after a Dec. 14 shooting injured a boy.

In March, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed in the mall’s parking lot.

On Nov. 30, Aurora police responded to reports of shots being fired in the mall’s parking lot but said they found no evidence of gunfire. Officers remained on the scene that day until the mall closed.

The mall is in the same city where a gunman opened fire in a move theater in 2012, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.

Aurora Police Department spokesman Anthony Camacho said at least one police officer is assigned to the mall full-time, and he assured residents that the mall is safe.

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Associated Press reporter Colleen Slevin contributed to this report.

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