15-year-old is 2nd suspect charged in death of NC teen girl outside mall

North Carolina news

CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) – Concord Police say a second teenager has been charged with murder in connection to a shooting that killed a 13-year-old girl and left two other teenagers injured Saturday at Concord Mills mall.

The 15-year-old, whose name has not been released, was taken into custody Friday and charged with first-degree murder and felony riot. Police say the teen is an acquaintance of 18-year-old Dontae Milton Black, who was arrested Wednesday on the same charges, with additional charges pending.

Police said they are still trying to identify other individuals that may have been involved.

Black was in court and faced a judge Thursday on the charges. He could face the death penalty or life without parole if convicted.

Dontae Laquavious Milton-Black (Concord Police)

The shooting happened around 8:40 p.m. outside Dave & Buster’s on Concord Mills Boulevard. Aveanna Propst, of Concord, was shot and died at the scene. Two boys, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, were shot and injured.

Investigators say Propst nor the two boys shot were involved in the altercation that led to the shooting and were not Black’s intended targets. Police say the teen boys are “lucky to be alive.”

A man wearing a red and white checkered hoodie was seen on surveillance shortly before the shooting, displaying a firearm in the Concord Mills parking lot. Witnesses said a short time later he fired the gun in the direction of Dave & Buster’s.

After the arrest on Wednesday, investigators say they believe Black was in a verbal altercation with a 16-year-old boy in the mall. When the group of teens were asked to leave, Black went out one entrance and the 16-year-old left through Dave & Buster’s because he feared Black had a gun.

When Black saw the 16-year-old exiting Dave & Buster’s in the parking lot, police say he began firing in his direction, striking Propst and the two other teens who were not involved. Propst was pronounced dead at the scene.

“She was peaceful. She was always caring, kind, nice,” Propst’s friend said of Aveanna.

Propst was an 8th grader at A.C.E. Academy, expected to graduate from the charter school this year.

“It is hard trying to make them understand the reality of this world and what is happening,” says Johnny Brown, who’s grandson goes to A.C.E. Academy. “It is so sad to experience what has happened. The loss of this lady just 13 years old. It really resonates and hits home.”

Brown says trying to explain to his grandson what happened to Propst, hasn’t been easy for the families at school.

“At a point where they should be experiencing the fun things of life, and to have to sit down with them and explain to them the loss of life, it is hard,” says Brown.

A.C.E academy says it is offering counseling and support for families and students who might need someone to talk to and help process after losing one of their schoolmates.

“The support level has been tremendous and the outreach in just helping us internalize everything that has unfolded in the past few days,” says Brown.

The academy says its letting students paint the rocks outside the school and its planning memorials within the school to honor Propst.

Concord Police released a statement shortly after Black’s arrest, sending their condolences to Propst’s family.

“The Concord Police Department continues to extend their deepest condolences to the family of Ms. Propst,” read a release from the department. “Concord Police also would like to thank the other law enforcement agencies, especially the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, that assisted in the investigation and those in the community that offered information and support.”

Police say Propst’s cousin, 31-year-old Derron Jordan, was killed in a shooting just hours earlier in a Concord neighborhood. The two shooting are not connected.

Investigators say that a photo circulating on social media showing a person in a red and white Coca-Cola hoodie, which looked similar to the suspect in the surveillance photos, was not connected to the crime or suspect in any way.

Community members are signing a Change.org petition that was created after violence at the mall in 2017. Organizers want Concord Mills to enforce a curfew for young people.

Other area malls already enforce curfews on Fridays and Saturdays including North Lake Mall, Eastridge Mall and Rock Hill Galleria. Those curfews apply to shoppers under 16 and 17 years old, which would not have kept 18-year-old Dontae Black from Concord Mills. Individual businesses also make their own rules. According to the Dave and Busters website, guests under 18 without a guardian must exit by 11pm.

We reached out to Concord Mills regarding their gun policy and the potential of adopting a curfew.

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