May 27, 2022

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Does security at Hanes Mall need to be improved after shooting?

Do security measures at Hanes Mall need to be improved following Tuesday’s mall shooting? WXII 12 News talked with community leaders to learn more.HANES MALL SHOOTING:Winston-Salem police are searching for suspects and witnesses after a shooting at Hanes Mall on Tuesday.According to the Winston-Salem Police Department, officers first got a call about the shooting at 1:50 p.m. They said officers responded to the mall on a reported shooting inside the “common area.”This happened on the main level of the mall, near the Bath & Body Works store, a source confirmed to WXII 12 News.Moments later, authorities said they were informed about a man running toward the Golden Corral restaurant. Police found the man outside of the restaurant, they added. He suffered from a gunshot wound to the upper arm. The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are withholding his identity.”I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I could possibly be killed today, especially today was my day off and I came into cover someone’s shift,” Malcolm Reid, store manager at Lids, said on Tuesday. “It was pretty much a traumatic experience today.”WXII 12 News talked with Alexis Newsome on Wednesday, who said she was shopping at American Eagle for less than ten minutes when she heard the gunshots.”I dropped my things and ran for the dressing room,” she said. “I’m just scared. Scared to death. Scared for my life. And just stayed hunker down.”She said the situation was “frightening,” especially because she did not “know how to react and what to do.”Newsome said she did not expect the shooting to happen after she shared “there wasn’t that many in the mall, I mean it was not crowded at all, there was hardly people in the food court it was a good time to shop.””They really need to do something with the security,” Newsome added.COUNCILMAN KEVIN MUNDY:WXII 12 News talked with Democratic Councilman Kevin Mundy on Wednesday, who oversees the Southwest Ward of the City — where Hanes Mall is located.”My thought was here we go again. It just happens too often. I hate to say it’s becoming a norm, but we have so much gun violence in The Triad,” Mundy said.Mundy said that he plans to talk with the management of the mall after Winston-Salem police complete their investigation. He said he would like to see the mall’s security cameras be integrated with the Winston-Salem Police Department’s system, add more security to the mall, and create an evacuation plan for customers and workers in case of a possible future shooting at the shopping center.”I would strongly encourage the mall to come up with an evacuation plan. They can share with their shoppers. We know what to do in case of a hurricane. We know what to do in case of a tornado or a fire. We tell families to have an evacuation plan. I think if you’re a shopper, you have to know what to do,” Mundy said.Mundy acknowledges that the mall is privately owned, and if the company, CBL Properties, does not have enough resources, he said he is open to a possible partnership with the city and the company. “If we don’t have the resources, what resources do we need to put in place? Is there an opportunity for a public-private partnership? They may not be able to afford it on their own, we can’t as a city, but it’s the best interest of everyone if we come together and work on a project,” Mundy said.Mundy also shared that he is working on a number of efforts to address gun violence in the community, including increasing the number of officers in the department (increasing pay, enhancing benefits packages, etc.), installing shot spotter devices, which detect gunshots in the community, and installing cameras near major highways and hospitals that would capture vehicle information.The councilman stressed to WXII 12 News that everyone must buy in — not just mall security — to address the gun violence in the community. He said, “I don’t think we can lay the entire solution on the heads of security at the mall or the Winston-Salem Police Department. Every one of us has to take some level of responsibility in developing our own safety plan.”COMMUNITY ACTIVIST:WXII 12 News also talked with community activist, Frankie Gist, the founder of HOPE Dealers Outreach, a grassroots organization that tackles a number of issues in the community, including gun violence.”It’s ridiculous. We cant even go to the mall anymore to shop without ducking from bullets. We can’t even go to the mall anymore and enjoy our families without gun violence happening,” Gist said.Gist said the mall shooting was devastating, however, it’s just a symptom of the bigger issue — gun violence in the community. He said, “it’s just a part of the problem. It’s just another place where a shooting happened. But shooting has been happening everywhere in this city, most of all, in these streets.”Gist stressed to WXII 12 News that the long-term solution to address gun violence in the community is supporting grassroots organizations that work directly in the community on a consistent basis. He said many of these organizations understand what the issues are and have developed personal relationships with families, including many who have lost loved ones to gun violence.”We need funding to help with single mothers that have children that need guidance. Funding needs to be given to organizations who are out here working, creating programs to help tackle this issue,” Gist said.That is the reason why Gist said he is asking the city for more support for his organization and many other grassroots groups within the community.However, until more grassroots organizations get more funding, he said gun violence will continue to plague the area.”We got to stop talking about it and be about it. And when you’re about it, we can create programs that will last for even with my children’s children’s children’s children that comes into this world. That will still be in place,” Gist said.CBL PROPERTIES:WXII 12 News reached out to CBL Properties, which owns Hanes Mall, to get their reaction to the recent shooting.Sarah Kotelnicki, marketing director of Hanes Mall, declined an interview, but shared the following statement:”Our top priority is to provide a comfortable experience for our guests and employees. In addition to employing a full-time third-party security provider, we maintain a close working relationship with the Winston-Salem Police Department including hiring off-duty WSPD officers to patrol during high traffic times. We appreciate their continued partnership as well as their quick response during yesterday’s incident. We evaluate our security procedures on an ongoing basis making adjustments as necessary.”WINSTON-SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT:WXII 12 News talked with leaders of the Winston-Salem Police Department to get their response following Tuesday’s mall shooting.”Winston-Salem is still safe. Many of these acts of violence that we’re seeing, the people have known each other and it has been targeted incidents. We really don’t want people to think that it’s sort of the wild wild west out there. Winston-Salem is still safe and still a safe place to be. But we do understand there is an increase in violence and that’s unacceptable. And we’re doing everything we can to help that trend downward,” said Kira Boyd, public information officer with the Winston-Salem Police Department.Boyd said the department works closely with the shopping center and said “whatever they need, we will be ready to help them.”She added certain officers in the department are primarily focused on patrolling the mall.

Do security measures at Hanes Mall need to be improved following Tuesday’s mall shooting? WXII 12 News talked with community leaders to learn more.

HANES MALL SHOOTING:

Winston-Salem police are searching for suspects and witnesses after a shooting at Hanes Mall on Tuesday.

hanes mall

According to the Winston-Salem Police Department, officers first got a call about the shooting at 1:50 p.m. They said officers responded to the mall on a reported shooting inside the “common area.”

This happened on the main level of the mall, near the Bath & Body Works store, a source confirmed to WXII 12 News.

Moments later, authorities said they were informed about a man running toward the Golden Corral restaurant. Police found the man outside of the restaurant, they added. He suffered from a gunshot wound to the upper arm.

The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are withholding his identity.

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“I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I could possibly be killed today, especially today was my day off and I came into cover someone’s shift,” Malcolm Reid, store manager at Lids, said on Tuesday. “It was pretty much a traumatic experience today.”

WXII 12 News talked with Alexis Newsome on Wednesday, who said she was shopping at American Eagle for less than ten minutes when she heard the gunshots.

“I dropped my things and ran for the dressing room,” she said. “I’m just scared. Scared to death. Scared for my life. And just stayed hunker down.”

alexis newsome

She said the situation was “frightening,” especially because she did not “know how to react and what to do.”

Newsome said she did not expect the shooting to happen after she shared “there wasn’t that many in the mall, I mean it was not crowded at all, there was hardly people in the food court it was a good time to shop.”

“They really need to do something with the security,” Newsome added.

COUNCILMAN KEVIN MUNDY:

WXII 12 News talked with Democratic Councilman Kevin Mundy on Wednesday, who oversees the Southwest Ward of the City — where Hanes Mall is located.

hanes mall

“My thought was here we go again. It just happens too often. I hate to say it’s becoming a norm, but we have so much gun violence in The Triad,” Mundy said.

Mundy said that he plans to talk with the management of the mall after Winston-Salem police complete their investigation. He said he would like to see the mall’s security cameras be integrated with the Winston-Salem Police Department’s system, add more security to the mall, and create an evacuation plan for customers and workers in case of a possible future shooting at the shopping center.

“I would strongly encourage the mall to come up with an evacuation plan. They can share with their shoppers. We know what to do in case of a hurricane. We know what to do in case of a tornado or a fire. We tell families to have an evacuation plan. I think if you’re a shopper, you have to know what to do,” Mundy said.

Mundy acknowledges that the mall is privately owned, and if the company, CBL Properties, does not have enough resources, he said he is open to a possible partnership with the city and the company.

“If we don’t have the resources, what resources do we need to put in place? Is there an opportunity for a public-private partnership? They may not be able to afford it on their own, we can’t as a city, but it’s the best interest of everyone if we come together and work on a project,” Mundy said.

Mundy also shared that he is working on a number of efforts to address gun violence in the community, including increasing the number of officers in the department (increasing pay, enhancing benefits packages, etc.), installing shot spotter devices, which detect gunshots in the community, and installing cameras near major highways and hospitals that would capture vehicle information.

hanes mall

The councilman stressed to WXII 12 News that everyone must buy in — not just mall security — to address the gun violence in the community.

He said, “I don’t think we can lay the entire solution on the heads of security at the mall or the Winston-Salem Police Department. Every one of us has to take some level of responsibility in developing our own safety plan.”

COMMUNITY ACTIVIST:

WXII 12 News also talked with community activist, Frankie Gist, the founder of HOPE Dealers Outreach, a grassroots organization that tackles a number of issues in the community, including gun violence.

frankie gist and hopes dealer outreach

“It’s ridiculous. We cant even go to the mall anymore to shop without ducking from bullets. We can’t even go to the mall anymore and enjoy our families without gun violence happening,” Gist said.

Gist said the mall shooting was devastating, however, it’s just a symptom of the bigger issue — gun violence in the community.

He said, “it’s just a part of the problem. It’s just another place where a shooting happened. But shooting has been happening everywhere in this city, most of all, in these streets.”

frankie gist

Gist stressed to WXII 12 News that the long-term solution to address gun violence in the community is supporting grassroots organizations that work directly in the community on a consistent basis. He said many of these organizations understand what the issues are and have developed personal relationships with families, including many who have lost loved ones to gun violence.

“We need funding to help with single mothers that have children that need guidance. Funding needs to be given to organizations who are out here working, creating programs to help tackle this issue,” Gist said.

That is the reason why Gist said he is asking the city for more support for his organization and many other grassroots groups within the community.

hanes mall

However, until more grassroots organizations get more funding, he said gun violence will continue to plague the area.

“We got to stop talking about it and be about it. And when you’re about it, we can create programs that will last for even with my children’s children’s children’s children that comes into this world. That will still be in place,” Gist said.

CBL PROPERTIES:

WXII 12 News reached out to CBL Properties, which owns Hanes Mall, to get their reaction to the recent shooting.

Sarah Kotelnicki, marketing director of Hanes Mall, declined an interview, but shared the following statement:

“Our top priority is to provide a comfortable experience for our guests and employees. In addition to employing a full-time third-party security provider, we maintain a close working relationship with the Winston-Salem Police Department including hiring off-duty WSPD officers to patrol during high traffic times. We appreciate their continued partnership as well as their quick response during yesterday’s incident. We evaluate our security procedures on an ongoing basis making adjustments as necessary.”

WINSTON-SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT:

WXII 12 News talked with leaders of the Winston-Salem Police Department to get their response following Tuesday’s mall shooting.

kira boyd, pio for wspd

“Winston-Salem is still safe. Many of these acts of violence that we’re seeing, the people have known each other and it has been targeted incidents. We really don’t want people to think that it’s sort of the wild wild west out there. Winston-Salem is still safe and still a safe place to be. But we do understand there is an increase in violence and that’s unacceptable. And we’re doing everything we can to help that trend downward,” said Kira Boyd, public information officer with the Winston-Salem Police Department.

Boyd said the department works closely with the shopping center and said “whatever they need, we will be ready to help them.”

She added certain officers in the department are primarily focused on patrolling the mall.