South Burlington police search for 18-year-old man who fired handgun inside University Mall

Local News

Update: February 2, 10:02 P.M.

South Burlington Police are searching for an 18-year-old man they say fired shots inside University Mall on Monday, wounding a bystander.

Tyshane Smith has been positively identified as the lone shooter in the incident, said South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke. Smith fled the scene following the shooting, leaving behind a 9-millimeter handgun, Burke said.

“This appears to have arisen from a dispute. It was not just indiscriminate violence,” Burke said.

Smith is described as a black male, 6’ tall, with a thin build. Police are asking for anyone with information on is whereabouts to call (802)846-4111.

Police say one man was wounded. He was not involved or affiliated with Smith. He was taken to University of Vermont Medical Center to treat his minor injuries.

Police say the incident took place between Kohl’s and the food court. Burke called it extremely wreckless behavior, which could have resulted in more injuries.  

“This illustrates that Vermont is not immune to these things. I also think it’s a time to reflect about what level of behavior…deserves to be held accountable,” said Burke.

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The South Burlington Police Department responded to multiple gunshots early Monday evening. At around 5:12 p.m., a group argument resulted in gunfire, sending police cruisers and ambulances to University Mall.

“We’ve had one victim transported to the hospital with a non-serious gunshot wound. That being presumably shrapnel,” said South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke.

That individual was the only one injured at the scene. Police say the young man was not involved are affiliated with the suspects. He was an innocent bystander and immediately taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center to treat his minor injuries.

“This appears to have arisen from a dispute. It was not just indiscriminate violence,” said Chief Burke.

As of 10:30 p.m. Monday evening, The University Mall was cleared and deemed safe. Police say it was not an active shooter incident.

“Soon after the dispute, where the firearm was discharged in the mall that those combatants fled in an unknown direction,” said Chief Burke.

Despite a long investigation, SBPD and several other agencies have not found the suspects. Police say they successfully fled the area after the shooting. Officers will continue to review the security camera footage to find more answers regarding the suspects.

“Right now, we’re going through the process of methodically looking through the mall for anybody that may have been injured or any outstanding suspects,” said Chief Burke.

The criminal investigation is ongoing. This is a developing story.

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