HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — A double murder outside a popular Maryland mall has sparked concern throughout the community.
Weijia Jiang has more.
A brazen double homicide outside Arundel Mills Mall last weekend continues to shake shoppers who live and work nearby.
“It’s like combat living, if you will. You have to be careful about going anywhere outside your home,” said shopper Trina Robinson.
Police say James Coleman, 22, shot and killed two people outside the Dave & Buster’s Restaurant, which was packed at the time.
“It’s not enough police or security to go around. They keep circling but anything can happen when they’re not looking,” said Kara Robinson.
Despite concerns, police insist the crime rate at the mall is going down. So far this year, three robberies have been reported, compared to 22 in 2009. But the violence comes as concerns are mounting over safety, with a new casino set to open in a few months.
In light of the murders, Anne Arundel County Police are working with mall security to add even more manpower.
“We challenge anyone to go to Arundel Mills at any given time and they’ll see a police presence there inside the mall, police cruisers outside the mall and it’s certainly going to be ratcheted up as the holiday season approaches,” said Justin Mulcahey, Anne Arundel County Police.
Some shoppers also find comfort in knowing the attack was not random. Police believe Coleman knew his victims. Still, others worry there could be a repeat.
“I’m worried a lot going, walking to the parking lot by myself or with my friends because anything could happen,” Kara Robinson said.
Coleman was killed during a shootout with police when they tried to approach him about the double murder.