The Victorville store owner is accused of shooting dead a 9-year-old girl who is to be brought back from Nevada after being arrested

LAS VEGAS — A Southern California shoe store owner accused of shooting and injuring a 9-year-old girl when he opened fire on shoplifters agreed Thursday to be brought back from Nevada to face arraignment in the case.

Police said Marqel Cockrell, 20, fled the California desert town of Victorville in his car shortly after the girl, identified by family members as Ava Chruniak, was mistakenly hit by bullets on Tuesday while waiting for her was photographed with a shopping mall Easter Bunny.

Cockrell, 20, was on trial and told a Las Vegas judge he understood California authorities had 30 days to extradite him. He was not represented by an attorney because Nevada does not provide attorneys for extradition cases.

Cockrell, a co-owner of shoe store Sole Addicts in the Mall of Victor Valley, was in pursuit of two shoplifters around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when he fired shots that “instead hit the 9-year-old female victim,” Victorville police said in a statement .

RELATED: Shopkeeper shot girl waiting to take picture with Easter Bunny while shooting at shoplifters

The girl suffered three gunshot wounds, including two in an arm, said her grandmother, Moraga-Saldarelli. One of the bullets broke an arm bone.

Police said Cockrell drove out of the mall before responding officers arrived after receiving reports of gunfire and that he was arrested in Nevada’s Clark County, about a three-hour drive from Victorville.

Cockrell is being held at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas. Authorities said he faces at least one charge of attempted murder. The records do not indicate if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc7.com/victorville-mall-shooting-shop-owner-arrest/11751613/ The Victorville store owner is accused of shooting dead a 9-year-old girl who is to be brought back from Nevada after being arrested

Laura Coffey

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