Two juveniles charged with felonies in Crossgates shooting

— Enterprise file photo

Two juveniles were arrested on May 25, charged with felonies stemming from an April 10 shooting in a Crossgates Mall parking lot.

GUILDERLAND — Two Schenectady juveniles — a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl — were arrested by Guilderland Police Wednesday in connection with the April 10 shooting at Crossgates Mall.

They are not being named by police because of their ages.

Police, in a release on Thursday, said the boy fired several rounds from a semiautomatic handgun at a group in the mall parking lot while the girl drove the boy and two other people out of the parking lot after the shooting.

An uninvolved 17-year-old girl had been shot in the hand in the lot near Best Buy that day.

The boy has been charged with three felonies: first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree assault, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

The girl has been charged with second-degree hindering prosecution, a felony.

Both juveniles were arraigned in Albany County Family Court. The boy has been released under the supervision of the Albany County Department of Probation and the girl has been released on her own recognizance.

The investigation is ongoing as police “continue to seek the identity of the second shooter and all others involved,” the release said. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call the Guilderland Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 518 356-1501.

The Guilderland Police were assisted by members of the New York State Police, Albany County Sheriff’s Office, University at Albany Police Department and the Bureau Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.


History of violence

The last parking-lot violence at Crossgates Mall, before the one on April 10, was in November 2021.

After a fighting crowd was dispersed in front of the Standard Restaurant on a Saturday night, Guilderland Police found a 14-year-old boy standing on the sidewalk with stab wounds to his buttocks.

He, too, was taken to Albany Medical Center where he was treated for the wounds, which weren’t life-threatening, Guilderland’s deputy chief, Curtis Cox, told The Enterprise at the time.

A crowd of 30 to 40 people had dispersed by the time more officers arrived just one minute after the first officer reported it. “They just run off,” said Cox, when asked where the crowd had gone so quickly. “I don’t know what the fight was about.”

The last shooting at Crossgates, before the one in April, was on July 22, 2020.

The mall was briefly shut down after reports of shots being fired near the Foot Locker on the lower level of the mall. No one was injured.

Police agencies from across the Capital Region converged in Guilderland to assist. The exits and entrances to the mall were blocked off and police officers with high-caliber rifles stood watch at the doors. Other police gathered, with a command center, set up in the nearby Walmart parking lot.

The incident “appears to have been between known acquaintances,” said a statement at the time from Pyramid. “The altercation resulted in the discharge of a firearm inside our facility … Crossgates immediately went into lockdown,” Pyramid said.

On Aug. 26, 2020, Guilderland Police arrested a 15-year-old juvenile male in connection with the Crossgates shooting on July 22. His name was not released because of his age.

He was charged in Albany County Family Court with first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, and with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor. He was also arrested on an outstanding Albany County Family Court warrant.

Before the pandemic and the resulting shut-down and later reopening of the mall, Crossgates had experienced several violent incidents.

On Jan. 11, 2020, frightened shoppers hid during a brawl at Burlington Coat Factory as clothing racks and other items were thrown. “Six to seven males were fighting but had dispersed prior to our arrival and no one was arrested,” Cox said at the time.

On Jan. 26, 2020, a fight outside lululemon athletica on the second floor near J.C. Penney left one of the brawlers with a knife wound. The people involved in the fight had already dispersed by the time police arrived, Cox said at the time. “It appears that they knew each other,” he said, referring to the young people who were fighting at the mall.

State Police later arrested six juveniles who had crashed in a stolen U-Haul van; one was treated for a non-life-threatening stab wound that State Police believe was sustained during the Crossgates Mall fight, Trooper Kerra Burns said at the time.

In December 2019, a Christmas Eve brawl at the mall’s Beef Jerky Outlet destroyed merchandise land eft one person with minor injuries.

In August 2019, two Guilderland officers suffered minor injuries when they tried to break up a fight between several females at Get Air Trampoline Park. Two juvenile males were arrested and charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and with resisting arrest and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors. 

Cox told The Enterprise in 2018 that disruptive groups of shoplifters were a new trend in crimes at the mall. In these incidents, he said, a group causes a disruption in one part of the store — yelling and screaming, for instance, or throwing racks of clothes on the floor — while someone else commits a larceny elsewhere in the store. 

In November 2016, a gun was fired in Crossgates Mall, causing panicked shoppers to flee and resulting in a lockdown while police searched the premises. Tasheem Maeweather was acquitted of several charges including possessing a firearm, in the incident, but convicted of reckless endangerment. The prosecution in the case said the shooting was gang-related.

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