Augusta Mall shooting leaves workers asking for more security

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 5:12 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A deadly shooting at the Augusta Mall left people running for their lives on Saturday, and now many are questioning if it’s safe enough to go back.

Derrell Little, 26, was shot multiple times Saturday and later died at the hospital from his injuries.

On Monday, suspect Tony Burton appeared in court on charges of murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. His case is now being sent to Superior Court for a bond hearing.

After the shooting, life at the mall goes on. But one mall employee says he’s on edge and begging for the mall to take more safety measures.

“I used to feel safe when I go to the mall, but now I don’t," Osmond Paschal said.

For mall workers like Paschal, Saturday was a day he’ll never forget.

“I was there when they first started the confrontation,” Paschal said. “I don’t even feel safe going in the mall right now because I don’t know if it’s going to happen again.”

In order to feel safe, Paschal says he wants armed Richmond County Sheriff’s Office deputies patrolling the mall at all times and metal detectors at every entrance.

“The security team that they have there, it’s a contract security team, and the only thing that they can do is call the sheriff’s department. They can’t do anything,” he said. “If they were to have the sheriff’s department there and first responders there, I think the turnout would have been a little different.”

But others, like Augusta resident Melinda Crotti, think increasing mall security would do more harm than good.

“There will be racial profiling incidences," Crotti said. "There will be incidences where people feel like they were wrongfully searched. You can have all the security in the world, but these things are still going to happen. This is not just Augusta’s problem. It’s America’s problem.”

In a statement, the mall said they are reviewing their security program and making adjustments.

What those new protocols actually are, they say they can’t disclose at this time.

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