Police Rush To Moreno Valley Mall After Report Of Gunshots

Police Rush To Moreno Valley Mall After Report Of Gunshots
Ex-boyfriend arrested in 2008 cold case killings of Moreno Valley woman and her unborn child
nAuthorities responded Thursday to a report of gunfire at the Moreno Valley Mall in Riverside County.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department officials said the shooting is not considered “an active shooter situation.” No one was injured.

Several social media posts from people at the mall indicated they heard or witnessed a shooting inside the shopping center about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

An employee at a Victoria’s Secret in the mall told NBC4 a group of men were fighting outside the store before someone yelled: “He has a gun.” Multiple rounds were fired, but no one appeared to have been struck by gunfire, according to the employee.

#MoValPD investigating report of possible gunshots heard at Moreno Valley Mall. Police on scene. Not active shooter situation. More details to follow

The sheriff’s department could not immediately confirm the employee’s account. 

Firefighters putting away the triage tarps. No victims reported. People in the mall being released store by store. pic.twitter.com/5tIGwofes2

The Riverside County Fire Department confirmed firefighter-paramedics responded to the shopping center at 22500 Town Circle, which had yellow police tape blocking at least once entrance.

An employee at Hot Dog on a Stick in the food court area said that area is open and appears to be operating as normal, but other businesses appeared to have their security gates pulled down.

#MoValPD investigating report of possible gunshots heard at Moreno Valley Mall. Police on scene. Not active shooter situation. More details to follow

Investigators were talking to witnesses and utilizing mall security cameras in the search.

The ex-boyfriend of a pregnant woman found dead in 2008 in her Moreno Valley apartment has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the deaths of her and her unborn child, after investigators reopened the cold case and obtained more evidence, according to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department news release.

Investigators learned last year that DNA analysis from a biological swab collected at the scene matched the ex-boyfriend, Russell Austin, 34, of Moreno Valley. He was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 6, in Moreno Valley, according to jail records.

“#MoValPD investigating report of possible gunshots heard at Moreno Valley Mall. Police on scene. Not active shooter situation. More details to follow,” the sheriffs department said on Twitter.

Erica Lynn Johnson, 25, of Moreno Valley was found dead in her apartment in the 22300 block of Bay Avenue in Moreno Valley on Aug. 31, 2008.

However, around 1:30 p.m. people were allowed back inside the shopping center as police continued to block off only a small portion on the lower level where the shooting occurred.
Ex-boyfriend arrested in 2008 cold case killings of Moreno Valley woman and her unborn child
Ex-boyfriend arrested in 2008 cold case killings of Moreno Valley woman and her unborn child

She was pregnant at the time, and her 2-year-old son was found unharmed in the apartment.

Sheriff’s and Riverside County District Attorney’s Office investigators reopened the case in 2014 and submitted numerous items of evidence collected from the original investigation to a laboratory for DNA analysis, and re-interviewed original witnesses and associates of all parties, according to the news release.

#MoValPD investigating report of possible gunshots heard at Moreno Valley Mall. Police on scene. Not active shooter situation. More details to follow
Gunfire report triggers lockdown at Moreno Valley Mall
Gunfire report triggers lockdown at Moreno Valley Mall

Gunshots reportedly heard at Moreno Valley Mall

Sheriff’s homicide investigators presented their findings to the District Attorney’s office in January seeking murder charges in connection with Johnson’s death and that of her unborn child.

Austin was due in Riverside County Superior Court on Thursday, Feb. 8, but the results of a court appearance were not immediately available

Austin is in custody at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, according to jail records. No bail is set.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Investigator Jason Corey at the sheriff’s central homicide unit at 951-955-2777 or Investigator Ryan Bodmer at the district attorney’s office at 951-955-5400.

Lockdown lifted after shooting at Moreno Valley Mall; no victims located, authorities say
Lockdown lifted after shooting at Moreno Valley Mall; no victims located, authorities say

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Lockdown lifted after shooting at Moreno Valley Mall; no victims located, authorities say
Lockdown lifted after shooting at Moreno Valley Mall; no victims located, authorities say

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Posted in Moreno Valley