• February 9, 2023

Fox River Mall shooting in Wisconsin: Police identify 17-year-old suspect

GRAND CHUTE, Wisconsin – Police are looking for a 17-year-old suspect who they believe was involved in a shooting that killed a man and injured another person on Sunday at Fox River Mall in Grand Chute.

Police responded to the mall around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Shots were fired in the mall near the food court.

Jovanni J. Frausto, 19, of Neenah, Winnebago County, died of his injuries. The other victim was being treated for minor injuries and was discharged from hospital, the Grand Chute Police Department said late Sunday evening.

Police are looking for Dezman V. Ellis, 17, who they believe drives a blue 2012 Dodge Avenger with state license plate AHP7939.

Police believe the shooting was targeted and people should view Ellis as armed and dangerous.

The shooter left the mall before officers arrived at the scene, said Travis Waas, Grand Chute Police Information Officer. No one is currently in custody for the shooting.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Grand Chute Police Department at 920-832-1575 or send “TIPGCPD” to 847411.

Police conducted a preliminary search for a suspect at the mall and conducted a thorough search, along with escorting those who had sought refuge in the mall on Sunday evening.

Earlier on Sunday, authorities warned people in the mall to protect themselves on site and urged the public to avoid the area.

Police authorities from different jurisdictions were on hand to provide assistance.

Some shoppers fled the mall after the gunfire. Others, along with staff from the mall, found hiding places. After the police arrived, people could be seen leaving the mall with their hands up.

Rhex Arboleda from Neenah, his wife and four boys were like a regular Sunday at the mall for them.

Arboleda and his wife Claire were about to leave and were walking to the main entrance of the mall when they saw a group of people running behind them.

Then another group of people ran out of the mall. Someone in the group told him there was an active shooter.

“It was a little weird at first because they were mostly teenagers and I thought something was happening, maybe an event, or maybe even a prank,” he said. “But it turned out to be very scary and I could see in their faces that they were really nervous. A girl was crying.”

Arboleda said the first thing he and his wife did was call their kids who were at the mall at the same time.

“One of my boys was planning to stay a bit and wanted to buy something at the food court,” he said.

However, he was relieved when their sons said they had left and had already started driving home.

The police sped past Carly Goland from Appleton and her mother Anita who were driving on the freeway. When they reached the shopping mall parking lot, the police surrounded the main entrance and the Scheels entrance. SWAT teams and an ambulance with an injured person were on the property.

Goland saw two groups of people come out of the mall and a food court clerk who “freaked out” after seeing someone shot.

“Groups of around 30 people came out with their hands over their heads and were on a single line of files and went to DSW,” Goland said.

After the incident, Arboleda said he didn’t know what it would be like to be back at the mall.

“It was very scary, that’s all I could say,” said Arboleda. “It scares you in a way, and I don’t know how I would feel the next time I take my family to the mall.”

Shoppers exit Fox River Mall after two people were shot dead in the mall on Sunday afternoon.  One person was killed in the shooting and the other injured.

Jack

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