STOCKTON (CBS13) — Sherwood Mall in Stockton was closed Thursday for a disturbance less than 24 hours after a high school student was fatally shot.
The reported disturbance was actually a memorial for the 17-year-old who shot, Anthony Graves. Emotions ran high and mall management said they wanted to “quiet things down.”READ MORE: 2 People Shot During Fight In Old Sacramento
Classmates gathered in the parking lot at Sherwood Mall to remember Graves, who was gunned down Wednesday night inside the mall’s eatery.
“He was a good person. He was always trying to get me to class,” a mourning teen said.
The Stagg High School senior told friends he was heading out to the mall around 8:30 p.m.
“He left and we told him don’t take longer than 30 minutes to get back and he told us he was getting food but he never made it back after that,” another teen said.
Police say Graves was shot and killed a fight broke out inside the eatery. Investigators searched for clues right after it happened and are looking through surveillance footage to catch the killer.READ MORE: Fire Inside Highway 160 Overpass Points To Dangerous Places People Are Making Their Homes
“We want to respect the grieving process,” Sherwood Mall manager Pat Dobson said.
Mall management says candles went up overnight and as the memorial grew, so did the crowd with emotions and tensions running high.
“A lot of grief, a lot of emotion, so all those coming into play with a large gathering and unanswered questions. It resulted in the decision to quiet everything down,” Dobson said.
Sherwood Mall closed its doors at 3 p.m. and police were called in. Management wanted the group to have the space to honor Graves and said the mall will reopen Friday at 10 a.m.
The management did not say if they will reinstate the parental escort policy for those under 18, which was originally put into place after a brawl at the mall last Christmas.MORE NEWS: As California's Eviction Ban Ends, Some Protections Remain
Stagg high school leaders say students can continue to speak with crisis counselors at school to deal with grief.