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Identity of teen suspect in Glendale Tanger Outlets shooting released

Posted at 3:18 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 22:51:53-04

GLENDALE, AZ — New details surrounding the March shooting at the Tanger Outlets mall in Glendale, including the identity of the 17-year-old who is being charged in the incident, were released Tuesday.

Raul Franco, 17, is facing several charges in regards to the March 23 incident that injured multiple people, including a four-year-old child, according to court paperwork.

The incident took place around 2:45 p.m. at Tanger Outlets, near 95th and Glendale avenues, just west of Westgate.

According to court documents, Franco was at the outdoor mall with several children and women, including a four-year-old boy, Franco's three-month-old child, and a person in a wheelchair.

Individuals involved in the incident say the incident stemmed from "social media disrespect," according to court documents.

The individuals told police they reportedly attempted to confront Franco as he exited a store.

Franco then reportedly pulled out a gun from his backpack and fired at the individuals, according to individual accounts in court documents.

When talking with authorities, Franco said he wanted to fire at the ground to scare the other group into running away, court documents stated. After firing one round, allegedly shooting the 15-year-old boy in the group, Franco told police he realized he only had one round of ammunition.

The group of individuals then returned fire, prompting Franco and his group to flee the scene. Franco helped the individual in a wheelchair flee the scene, according to court documents.

A 27-year-old mother and her four-year-old son who were shopping with Franco at the time of the incident were also shot by the return gunfire.

As of March 29, the boy remains hospitalized and is in stable condition, according to officials.

Within two minutes of the first 911 call, police say an officer arrived at the scene, "and was flagged down and advised that there was a four-year-old boy with a critical gunshot wound. That officer immediately rendered first aid," said Glendale Officer Tiffany Ngulala.

Franco told police that he recently had bought the gun for $100 as he felt unsafe, court documents stated.

It is unclear how the gun was purchased.

Per court paperwork, officials estimate about $10,000 in damages were done at the mall in relation to the incident.

Franco is being charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, four counts of felony endangerment, one count of criminal damage, and one count of prohibited possession of a firearm. Franco is currently on probation for a 2019 drug conviction, according to court documents.