CMPD Protecting Retailers, Customers After Another Shooting Near Mall

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two shootings in the crowded Northlake Mall area in one month have left police working to protect retail customers and workers.

“It’s about being smart, and not so much being scared,” said Michelle Boykin.

Saturday, police say robbers shot a man who says he was selling pills in the parking lot of the Super Target.

In December, an off-duty CMPD Officer killed Daquan Westbrook after they say he pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer inside the Northlake Mall.

The violent crimes happened minutes from Michelle and Todd Boykin’s home.

“That was surprising because to us, even now, it’s still safe,” said Michelle Boykin.

CMPD’s crime mapping system lists 672 crimes within a mile of the mall in the past six months. CMPD’s North Division says theft numbers are up 14 percent in the area. Violent crimes are down 2.8 percent in the past year.

“It’s a convenient location,” said North Division Capt. Ryan Butler.

Capt. Butler says the crowded, public parking lots are likely a nearby place criminals think they can blend in. The victim of Saturday’s shooting told police he was trying to sell some pills when gunmen robbed him.

“You’re exactly right,” said Todd Boykin. “The criminals, those people are going to filtrate to certain areas, but if there’s more visible officers around, that’s going to eliminate that problem.”

With more homeowners like the Boykins moving near the mall, police patrol the area even after stores are closed.

There are three business watch groups: the Target shopping center, Northlake Mall shops and Northlake Commons.

“We share security tips,” said Capt. Butler. “We try to get them to work together as retailers to share information, whether that be about repeat shoplifters or security questions that they have.”

Business managers tell WCCB Charlotte Saturday’s shooting has left them worried for their safety.

Their customers say they are more aware.

“We can help fight it together,” said Michelle Boykin. “Making certain we’re being just as diligent and vigilant about whats going on out there.”