Another Danbury Teen Arrested in Mall Shooting Investigation
UPDATE (August 25): A second teen has reportedly been arrested as the result of an on-going investigation regarding the shooting of a 15-year-old at the Danbury Fair Mall earlier this month.
According to the Danbury Police Department, 18-year-old Derek Sotelo of Danbury was arrested on Tuesday (August 24) after investigators say he was identified as part of the altercation that led to the shooting inside of the mall back on August 11.
Police say that Danbury Fair surveillance footage leads them to believe that Sotelo "presented a hammer as a weapon" with the intention of confronting an opposing group of people, which included the unidentified 14-year-old who has been accused of pulling the trigger, resulting in a 15-year-old girl sustaining a gunshot wound to her upper chest.
Sotelo's arrest coincides with an arrest warrant granted by a Superior Court Judge. He has been taken into custody and held on a $100,000 bond for charges of criminal attempt to commit assault, reckless endangerment, inciting a riot, inciting injury to a person, risk of injury to a minor, and breach of peace.
UPDATE (August 17): As of this morning, August 17, the Danbury Police Department released that a 14-year-old male from Danbury was identified as the accused shooter of the incident that took place at the Danbury Mall this past Wednesday (August 11).
Police say that through investigative efforts, the 14-year-old from Danbury was identified as well as the suspected handgun used in the incident which was recovered. On August 13, a Superior Court judge granted a warrant for his arrest. On August 16, the accused, accompanied by his parents and attorney, turned himself in.
After being processed for the offenses, the teen was transferred to Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center where he will currently reside per the warrant.
The investigation remains ongoing and active. Since both the victim and assailant are minors, police say their names will not be released. The 15-year-old victim who was shot is facing non-life-threatening injuries at this time.
Since the investigation remains ongoing, if you have any information, you are being asked to contact Detective Paul Carroccio at 203-797-2169 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can always also contact the anonymous TIPS Line at 203-790-8477.
UPDATE (August 12): Danbury Police Chief Ridenhour took to YouTube on Thursday afternoon (August 12) to provide the public with an update on the shooting that occurred at the Danbury Fair Mall Wednesday night.
In his address, Chief Ridenhour made it known that the victim, who is actually a 15-year-old female, not a 16-year-old as police previously reported, is currently in stable condition after being transferred from Danbury Hospital to Connecticut Children's Hospital in Hartford to be treated for her single gunshot wound that she sustained in her upper-chest.
While the young female victim's identity is still being withheld due to the active investigation, the Danbury Police Chief said that video footage shows that the victim was in fact part of the group of people involved in the initial altercation that led to the shooting, and was not necessarily a random mall patron as earlier reports may have implied.
Ridenhour went on to say that detectives have described the sole suspect as a dark-skinned male with a thin build and shoulder length dreadlocks, and is believed to possibly be in his early teens. While Danbury authorities are confident that the suspect will be apprehended in a quick manner, they say that they strongly encourage him to turn himself in as soon as possible.
The chief then went on to reiterate that police believe this situation to be an isolated incident and that there is no ongoing risk to the general public.
From there, Ridenhour thanked all of the police departments and the emergency personnel throughout Greater Danbury who assisted the DPD in various way throughout the time of the incident. He also thanked the management and security teams at the Danbury Fair Mall for their professionalism and efficiency in handling the intense situation before acknowledging the people who were in the mall at the time of the shooting and subsequent lock down.
"Thank you to the patrons and workers at the danbury fair mall last night," said Ridenhour. "The overwhelming majority of you remained calm and patient during what I am sure was one of the most stressful times of your lives. Your cooperation was greatly appreciated and allowed us to get the situation under control as quickly as possible."