Two people have been indicted in connection with the shooting death of a man inside the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Massachusetts.
Julius Hammond-Desir, 19, of Maynard, was indicted on murder and weapons charges Monday, the Norfolk District Attorney's Office said. Hammond-Desir is accused in the killing of 26-year-old Dorchester resident Dijoun Beasley on Jan. 22.
Hammond-Desir was arrested in February and entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment. He was represented at arraignment by attorney Mark Wester.
A second suspect, 27-year-old Samantha Schwartz of Attleboro, was indicted on charges of accessory after the fact of the murder and carrying a firearm.
What we know about the case
State and local police responded to a call of shots fired with a person down at South Shore Plaza around 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, authorities said. The mall was evacuated and those still inside were ordered to shelter in place until it was safe to come out.
Emergency personnel found Beasley on the ground with at least one apparent gunshot wound. He was taken to a Boston hospital with life-threatening injuries and died several days later.
According to Braintree police, there was an "encounter" between the two men inside a store on the first floor of the mall. Hammond-Desir allegedly approached the victim, pulled out a firearm and shot Beasley. Police believe Hammond-Desir immediately fled the mall.
Police said at the time that it appeared this was a targeted shooting and not a random event and insisted there was no danger to the community at large.
The owner of the mall -- the site of several other violent incidents in recent years -- pledged to beef up security in the wake of the shooting.
Michael Romstad, executive vice president of property management for mall owner Simon Property Group, told The Patriot Ledger that the shooting was “unacceptable.”
The mall said it would add security features like a K-9 unit, more armed guards and more security cameras, including portable security camera towers outside connected to Simon’s Indianapolis-based intelligence center, he said.
Simon has been working with Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros and police Chief Mark Dubois.
The mall pays for three city police officers to patrol, but the mayor and chief don’t think that’s enough and want Simon to pay for more. The mayor also said the video surveillance system at the mall is “a little bit behind the times,” and would like to see upgrades.
In addition to the latest shooting, gang members exchanged gunfire inside a department store at the mall in 2017, and in 2020, a 15-year-old girl described as an innocent bystander was hit twice during a shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.