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‘They’ve got to do something’: Concord Mills new policy to limit unsupervised minors during weekends

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 4:33 PM EDT
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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Concord Mills is working to alleviate crime among minors at the mall.

Concord Mills announced the implementation of a youth supervision program.

According to the program, everyone younger than 18 years old must be with an adult, someone over the age of 21, on Friday and Saturday evenings.

“If they’ve got violence, they’ve got to do something to slow it down,” shopper Joseph Greene told WBTV.

The new policy will begin on Friday, July 30 and be implemented every Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. until the mall closes.

“I feel great about this, I feel these policies have been effective elsewhere in the country and I have no reason to believe it wouldn’t be effective here in the city of Concord,” said Gary Gacek, Concord Chief of Police.

Concord Mills released this statement:

“Concord Mills is committed to providing a pleasant and family-friendly shopping environment for all guests. The program is in response to feedback from the community and community leaders, as the center reinforces its commitment to the community to provide a pleasant, family friendly shopping environment. We are establishing a Youth Supervision Policy as an enhancement to our existing safety plan and to deter activity that is disruptive to our community.”

Mark Stodghill, who has been coming to Concord Mills Mall since its inception, says while he felt safe here as a child, that changed as he turned into an adult.

“It changed pretty quickly and dramatically. There have been several shootings here in the several years that I’ve lived here,” Stodghill said.

Most recently, a man was arrested for shooting another person outside the mall on June 13.

Police said Renzo Gabriel Carnevalini Medina got into an argument with another person before firing shots in the parking lot outside the AMC theaters at Concord Mills.

In December 2019, 13-year-old Aveanna Propst was shot and killed during crossfire outside the Dave & Buster’s at the mall.

Two teens were later charged.

“They had a shooting right in front of Dave and Busters,” said Kendall Matthews, who worked at the Nike store that night and witnessed the chaos. “Once the shooting took place everybody was just scattered everywhere. It was mostly just kids and stuff and that’s why I think the shooting took place because it was a lot of kids unattended with parents and stuff like that.”

Propst’s mother has filed a lawsuit against the mall, its owners and the teens accused in the shooting.

The lawsuit alleges the owners and operators of Concord Mills, Dave & Buster’s and their respective security staff failed to heed warning signs about escalating violence at the mall.

At least 20 previous instances of violence dating back to 2015, including fights, shootings, unaccompanied minors and safety concerns are detailed throughout the lawsuit.

Aveanna’s mother had to bury her daughter, awash in the fear this could happen again.

“Nothing is being done and it could happen to someone else,” she said.

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