Two men who police say exchanged gunfire during a gang dispute at West Towne Mall last weekend were charged Friday with a combined 10 criminal counts.
One of the men was charged with attempted homicide for allegedly shooting a fellow gang member in the face hours after firing gunshots at the mall.
Jeffrey E. Mitchell, 23, and Jamal M. Greer, 21, both fired guns in the West Towne parking lot around 5:30 p.m. Saturday during a fight between their two rival gangs, Madison police said. The shots caused officials to lock down the busy shopping center, with some shoppers locked inside stores.
Later that night, Mitchell got in an argument with an 18-year-old member of his own gang on Madison’s Southwest Side and shot the teen, police said.
Madison Police Chief Mike Koval has used the shootings to spotlight what he says are increasingly brazen acts of violence by members of the city’s gangs. At a press conference announcing the charges Friday afternoon, Koval said he wants to see Madison invest more money in efforts to keep people out of gangs.
“We want to do more at the front end of this model, looking at prevention and intervention,” Koval said. “This is not isolated, and more could and should be done.”
According to a criminal complaint:
A Madison police officer saw what appeared to be the start of the dispute between gang members at a store inside the mall not long before the shots were fired outside the mall.
No one was injured in that shooting.
About five hours later, Mitchell and two other people — one of whom was at the mall during that shooting — confronted an 18-year-old member of their gang outside of a home on the 5800 block of Russett Road. Mitchell claimed the teen had insulted Mitchell’s child, which led to their dispute, then said “something to the effect of, ‘I’m ending this now’” before he opened fire, authorities said.
The teen — who was shot in the face, arm and back — underwent several hours of surgery and was expected to survive.
Police also arrested the two men who joined Mitchell to confront the 18-year-old, though prosecutors have charged them with offenses unrelated to the shootings.
When officers went to a home near the shooting scene to find one of the men involved, Mitchell jumped from a second-story balcony and tried to run from officers. Mitchell was carrying two handguns when he was arrested, one of which had been stolen in February.
Along with one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, prosecutors also charged Mitchell with first-degree recklessly endangering safety for the mall shooting, as well as three counts of possessing a firearm as a felon and one count each of obstructing an officer and receiving a stolen firearm.
Greer is charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety, possessing a firearm as a felon and bail jumping.
A third person, Jacob I. Greer, 17, was charged with obstructing an officer for allegedly providing a false alibi to police for Jamal Greer, his brother.