Braintree

Man Shot at South Shore Plaza in Braintree Has Died: DA

No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting

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The man who was shot at South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Massachusetts, over the weekend has died, authorities said Monday.

Dijoun C. Beasley, 26, of Dorchester, was shopping inside a retail store on the main floor of the mall on Saturday when he was shot with a handgun by an unknown male suspect, the Norfolk District Attorney's Office said.

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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.

Emergency personnel found Beasley on the ground with at least one apparent gunshot wound. Investigators haven't said how many times he was shot.

The shooter fled the area and remains on the loose, police said. No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros said Monday that security will be enhanced at the mall, including an increased police presence and more cameras.

"In the immediate future, because of incidents like this, we need to show a strong force, police presence and a number of other things to make sure this cannot happen," he said.

Braintree Deputy Chief Tim Cohoon said there was an "encounter" between two men inside a store on the first floor of the mall. The suspect allegedly approached the victim, pulled out a firearm and shot him.

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said Saturday that authorities do not know at this time if there is more than one suspect.

"They're still trying to sort that out," he said.

Morrissey would not go into specifics of exactly where the shooting occurred but did say it was inside a store that is fairly close to one of the mall's parking garages. He also noted that the mall is a big place with easy access to the highway.

Police said it appears to have been a targeted shooting, not a random event, and have assured the public there is no danger to the community at large.

There was a swift response to the shooting Saturday, with police noting that Braintree officers were already on site when it occurred. They were quickly joined by other units, police said, and civilian EMTs who were firefighters helped render first aid to the victim until more first responders arrived.

Authorities from surrounding communities were also called to the scene to assist with the response.

People were asked to avoid the area, and the mall immediately went into lockdown before ultimately being closed for the night. The mall reopened on Sunday.

Shoppers who were inside when the shooting took place recalled the panic they felt as they raced to get outside.

“People started screaming 'Out of the building!', yelling there was an active shooter,” one man said.

“I didn’t think I would ever experience something like this,” a woman added.

Some shoppers who couldn't get out quickly enough hid in a storage room as dozens of police officers armed with assault rifles swarmed the area near Nordstrom and Target.

“The next thing I know, I hear the cops saying, ‘Get out of the way! Everyone, run!’” one man told NBC10 Boston.

Police said the victim is in grave shooting, and the suspect is not in custody at this time.

Kokoros spoke at Saturday's press conferences and appeared frustrated by the latest shooting incident at the mall.

"I will say that this is unacceptable and that we will be working directly with the South Shore Plaza and Simon Properties to come up with solutions to these problems," he said. "It's a place that people should be able to go and shop safely and we should not have gunshots being fired while people are out shopping and enjoying a Saturday."

The mall has been the site of previous violent acts in recent years.

Gang members exchanged gunfire inside a department store in 2017, and in 2020 a 15-year-old girl described as an innocent bystander was hit twice during a shooting. A 22-year-old man pleaded guilty earlier this month to armed assault to murder and other charges in connection with the shooting of the girl, who survived.

Kokoros commended Braintree officers as well as police from surrounding communities for responding so quickly and professionally to the chaotic scene on Saturday.

"Once again, I just want to thank all of our law enforcement... This is not the first incident that we've had at the mall, the last being July 3, 2020," he said. "I commend the actions of all of our brave men and women at the police department and the SWAT teams that came here on a moments notice, as well as fire departments and Brewster Ambulance."

Police say the suspect is not yet in custody.

The mayor said Saturday's shooting is one too many, again reiterating that they want to make sure everyone feels safe when they go shopping.

Kokoros said city and police officials will likely meet this week with the mall's property owners to discuss these issues, noting it's time for them to "step up and put a plan together."

"This is unacceptable," he added. "I've lived here my whole life. As mayor, it's very frustrating to have incidents like this occur while people are out shopping on a Saturday. It has to stop."

Braintree Police Chief Mark Dubois said mall security will be reevaluated following this incident, noting that Braintree officers are assigned to the plaza seven days a week.

NBC10 Boston reached out to South Shore Plaza for comment, and a spokesman said all inquiries should be directed to the Braintree Police Department.

The district attorney's office said the investigation is "active and ongoing" and urged anyone with information to call Braintree police at (781) 794-8620 or Massachusetts State Police at (781) 830-4990.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Braintree police chief said this is an extremely active investigation and they have a tremendous amount of resources dedicated to this incident from state police and the Braintree Police Department.

The district attorney's office said the investigation is "active and ongoing" and urged anyone with information to call Braintree police at (781) 794-8620 or Massachusetts State Police at (781) 830-4990.

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