Authorities are saying the San Bruno mall shooting that occurred earlier this month was gang related. Prosecutors say 18-year-old Deandre Gantt shot and wounded a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old inside the Tanforan Mall on July 2. Gantt made his first court appearance on Friday.
Authorities say he is one of those seen in the surveillance video shooting a semi-automatic handgun. Gantt has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, several counts of assault with a deadly weapon, a variety of weapons charges and gang enhancements. “We do believe that this incident involves two rival gangs that are based out of the San Francisco area,” San Mateo County Deputy, Elizabeth Nardi, said.
Mall visitors were literally running for their lives and what remains unclear is whether the shooting was planned in advance. “We’re definitely looking into the fact that they may or may well have been some sort of retaliation component to this,” Nardi said. “But again, it’s a lot of investigation that still needs to be done and we are not certain whether it was planned or spontaneous.”
Police arrested the third and fourth suspects on Thursday who were wanted in connection with the shooting. “Fortunately, no one died. This is about as serious as a crime can get. We have people who were opening fire in a crowded mall in the middle of the day, and that’s something that is very serious.” Prosecutors say if convicted, Gantt could be facing a life sentence. He is due back in court on August 5. Prosecutors argued for no bail, but the judge set bail at $5 million.