A Black Lives Matter supporter who once Tweeted “Black is BACK White is WACK Wack A Cracker #2015” was shot and killed during a dispute over Timberland boots (apparently) at Northlake Mall today.
A member of Anonymous alerted us to these racist Tweets that were posted.
Police report “an argument started” between two groups of people and then shots were fired. The Black Lives Matter supporter, Daquan Westbrook, was apparently a rapper known as Donkey Cartel on Twitter. The rapper frequently uploaded music videos glorifying violence to YouTube.
When the shooting began, store employees and customers began running for exits and hiding out. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say that it is unclear who fired the fatal shot.
Here’s the story as reported in the Charlotte Observer:
One person was killed Thursday afternoon in an officer-involved shooting at Northlake Mall in north Charlotte, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear who fired the fatal shot.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said early information indicates an argument started inside the mall around 2 p.m. Thursday between two groups of people. Officers who were working off-duty at the mall arrived on the scene.
At least one person was shot during the altercation, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Medic.
No officers were hurt, according to CMPD.
Witnesses said the shooting occurred in Journeys, a shoe store on the lower level of the mall near Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Zindy Cruz, 19, was in the food court with her brother and father when they heard shots being fired. She and her family ducked under their table until things calmed down. Then they got up and walked toward where they were told the shots were fired.
From the second floor, they could see into Journeys where she said she saw a man lying on the floor who appeared dead.
Co-workers Natasha Columbus and Nicole Kirkpatrick were in the Locker Room sporting goods store on the lower level of the mall near Journeys when the shots rang out. “Pow, pow, pow, pow,” eight or nine in all, Kirkpatrick said.
Columbus said she bolted to the back of the store. Kirkpatrick went to the front, toward the sound of gunfire, and looked through a store window.
Fifteen to 20 feet away in a mall common area, she said, she saw a body lying prone on the polished floor.
After the gunshots, an automatic gate came down and blocked Locker Room patrons from leaving the store for 30 minutes or more.
In the same store, Lisa Sawyer Phillips, 46, and her oldest son, 26, were looking for Carolina Panthers T-shirts when they heard the shots. Customers ran to the back of the store, where workers escorted them through a back door that leads to a hallway, Phillips said.
They waited there for a half-hour before they were able to evacuate the mall, she said.
“That was probably the scariest part, not knowing how many people were actually shooting,” Phillips said.
“Usually, I’m calm and collected and can handle things,” she said. But as the sound of gunshots hit the air, “I really broke down.”
At the AMC Northlake movie theater, about 100 people who had just finished watching a 12:45 p.m. screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” were surprised when an employee came in and announced there had been a shooting and that the mall was on lockdown.
Out in the mall, hundreds of shoppers pushed and shoved to leave the area.
Earlier, Medic said one person has a leg injury after an incident at the mall. Two other people were being treated, one who had gone into labor and another patient who had an asthma attack, the agency tweeted.
Caryl Santos, a 20-year-old sophomore at East Carolina University, said she was standing in the checkout line at Belk when suddenly people began running toward the exit. “I had no idea what to do so I grabbed my mom, dropped my stuff and ran out of the store,” she said.
The scene was chaotic, she said: People ran to their cars. Some hid behind Dumpsters.
Justin Biddle, 19, and his girlfriend Chyna Williams, 17, were at the mall for some last-minute shopping for her mother. They had gotten off the escalator in Macy’s and headed for Victoria’s Secret when dozens of shoppers – “too many to count,” Chyna said – thundered toward them.
They ran with the crowd, they said, asking questions as they went.
Shots had been fired, they were told, and someone had been hit.
By the time they reached the parking lot, the first of dozens of squealing police cars were taking over the mall.
Minutes later, they stood in a light rain, holding hands, waiting for their ride, feeling lucky they hadn’t reached the mall any earlier.
“We feel blessed that we weren’t shot,” Biddle said. But he said the couple felt bad for the victim.
Around them, the mall parking lot slowly emptied. Helicopters swirled overhead. Sirens continued to blare as more police cars and ambulances roared up and down W.T. Harris Boulevard.
Justin and Chyna apparently had seen enough. While dozens of other bystanders continued to stare over the scene, the couple walked away, still holding hands.
At around 3:45 p.m., long lines of traffic had formed coming toward and heading away from the intersection of Alexanderana and Mount Holly-Huntersville roads, as police blocked motorists from turning south onto Northlake Centre Parkway toward the mall.
Northlake Mall, which opened in September 2005, is a 1.1-million square foot enclosed regional shopping center on the northwest corner of Interstate 77 and W.T. Harris Boulevard. In 2014, original owner Taubman Center Inc. sold the mall to Starwood Capital Group.
In 2009, Northlake launched a curfew requiring adult supervision for anyone under age 18 on Fridays and Saturdays after 5 p.m.
In 2012, a man was arrested and charged in connection with a shooting outside of the Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s store at Northlake.