Girl, 15, arrested for armed robbery, shooting at NJ mall, cops say
🔵 A teenage girl is charged with attempted murder for a shooting at an NJ mall
🔵 The same girl is also accused of stealing sneakers from 3 teens at gunpoint
🔵 The mayor has in part blamed a 'pop-up mob' for the violence
EAST BRUNSWICK — A 15-year-old girl is accused of opening fire on a group of people and stealing sneakers at gunpoint near a carnival at the Brunswick Square Mall last weekend.
Gunfire erupted near the Habit Burger along Route 18 on May 13, according to the East Brunswick police. The burger joint is located across the parking lot from the mall.
Police got a call from a hotel across the highway, reporting that people were running from the area. But officers got to the scene and found no evidence of the shooting except for a single spent shell casing.
That same Saturday evening, three juveniles walking near Route 18 across from the Habit Burger were robbed at gunpoint. A suspect with a handgun stole their sneakers and ran away. The suspect had been described as a 15-year-old Black male wearing a ski mask.
In the following days, an investigation found that the shooting had occurred. Police say a person was seen firing a handgun several times into a group of people near the Habit Burger.
On Thursday, the East Brunswick police arrested a 15-year-old female teenager from New Brunswick. Police said she was also responsible for the armed robbery.
The girl is charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and weapons offenses. She is being held at Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.
🔵 Mayor blames 'pop-up mob' for violence
East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen last week blamed the violence on an "internet-based pop-up mob" made up of youths from Newark, Franklin, New Brunswick and Sayreville. He added it was ironic that the incidents happened near the LEAD Fest Carnival at the Brunswick Square Mall, as LEAD stands for Law Enforcement Against Drugs and is focused on police helping to protect and support young people.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the shooting or robbery. Additionally, the incidents did not happen within the grounds of the carnival.
Cohen and LEAD Executive Director Nick DeMauro both said last week that new safety measures had been implemented to ensure that no further incidents would occur. The carnival will run through Monday, May 29.