SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Tears, hugs and passionate pleas were among the sights of a family-staged press conference at Arden Fair mall Saturday evening, a little more than a day since two young men were shot and killed while Black Friday shopping.
Family identified the two shooting victims as 19-year-old Dewayne James, Jr. and 17-year-old Sa’Quan Reed-James.
“They came here for a better life,” said Sharron Jackson, the teens’ aunt. “They came here to Black Friday shop, and lost their life.”
As family spoke, heartbreak and raw emotion were clearly visible to all in front of the mall doors. The two teenagers had only moved to Sacramento from Louisiana a little more than a year ago to escape violence, only to become victims of it in California.
Now, Dewayne and Sa’Quan are remembered by their aunt Sharron Jackson for their smiles.
“Being positive,” Jackson said. “That’s what they did.”
As the mall closes tonight, two candles sit at the entrance near Forever 21 at Arden Fair. One for each young man killed in a shooting here last night.
There’s still no known motive or suspect at this time. pic.twitter.com/PkejO0BCnu
— Heather Janssen (@Heather_Janssen) November 29, 2020
The boys were reportedly involved in sports, activities and youth groups – in hopes to avoid any senseless violence.
Though, police say Dewayne and Sa’Quan’s deaths were part of an isolated incident.
Less than 24 hours after the shooting, Arden Fair was back open. Mall employees like Maile Weldon saw the shooting happen, but it happened so fast – she can only remember it as a blur. She’s stunned people were back inside shopping so quickly and now, can’t stop thinking about a family in mourning.
“Just by seeing it and experiencing it, I had a really hard time last night,” Waldon said. “My heart was hurting. I feel really, really sorry.”
Arden Fair is no stranger to violent activity, though. The shopping center has been known in the past for young people causing big brawls and fights. Now the mall battles their next crime, a deadly shooting.
An Arden Fair mall spokesperson, Nathan Spradlin, issued this statement on Saturday:
This is an active investigation and Arden Fair continues to work closely with all law enforcement agencies involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred Friday evening and our prayers and condolences are with the families of the victims.”
After this deadly shooting, the teens’ aunt demands change, starting with finding who killed her nephews.
“How many more lives are going to be lost at this mall?” Jackson said. “Give us closure. Give us peace. Cause it’s not fair for us.”
Activists like Leia Schank, founder of EMPACT, a social justice organization, are also begging someone to come forward — so Dewayne and Sa’Quan may have justice.
“Somebody knows who it was. Somebody knows what happened,” Schank said. “Someone needs to step and have integrity and let officers know exactly what took place last night.”
More from CBS Sacramento:
- 2 Teens Killed In Black Friday Shooting At Arden Fair Mall
- Witnesses Describe Chaos After Deadly Shooting Inside Arden Fair Mall
- Nevada City Man Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Over $3,400 In Merchandise From Home Depot
Family and activists are asking anyone who may have seen something or knows something about the crime to come forward and share what they know with police.
At this point, Sacramento police say they still don’t know of a motive or a suspect in this particular investigation.
Sacramento police can be contacted at (916) 808-5471 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP (4357).
Callers can remain anonymous and according to a Facebook post by police, could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.