Terroristic Threats Investigation Mall of Georgia *Charges Made Against a Juvenile
Update #2, 06/29/2016, 2:30pm: After consulting with the District Attorney’s Office, the lead investigator has charged a 16-year old male with Harassing Communications (OCGA 16-11-39.1). After he is served with the charges, the suspect will remain in the custody of his parents.
The suspect is a resident of Gwinnett County. His name, address, school, and other identifying information will not be released due to Open Records restrictions. (Cpl. Michele Pihera)
Update #1, 06/28/2016, 3:25pm: The GCPD Criminal Investigations Division has identified the person who made the threats against the Mall of Georgia. We do NOT believe the Mall is in any immediate danger. The detectives assigned to this case are working to determine if criminal charges will be made.
We commend the members of the community for coming forward to bring this threat to our attention. The safety of the people who work, shop, and do business with the Mall is the most important. (Cpl. Michele Pihera)
Original, 06/28/2016, 1:54pm: (Buford, Georgia) Gwinnett County Police are investigating a threat made in an online gaming chat room to shoot up the Mall of Georgia. The complainant in the investigation was also part of the online gaming chatroom and notified police of the threats yesterday. The threat specifically stated that the shooting would occur at 3:00 pm, June 28, 2016. There were also statements made in the chat room about the number of people that were going to be shot and a reference to committing suicide after the shooting.
Due to the magnitude of the threats and an abundance of caution, Gwinnett County Police deployed undercover tactical resources within the Mall of Georgia. There is also a visible uniform officer presence outside and inside of the mall. Citizens should expect high visibility patrols to continue for an undetermined period of time. Detectives are working to make contact with the suspect or suspects involved in this threat.
This is a very disturbing situation that we take very seriously. We have taken steps to develop as much information as possible about the origin of the treat and put numerous highly trained resources in place to protect the citizens within the mall. Our hope is to also deter anyone who would wish to exploit this situation and create undue fear and panic within our community. We appreciate the continued support of the community as we investigate this matter. (Cpl. Deon Washington)
If anyone has any information to share in this case, please contact Criminal Investigations at 770 513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404 577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.crimestoppersatlanta.org. You can also text your tip to “Crimes” (274637). Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.