Police patrol Colonie Center after mall shooting

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police say the victim of the Colonie Center Mall shooting is recovering from surgery.

Officials say 38-year-old Jermel Hawkins is expected to be okay, but they are still looking for his shooter. Many investigators are working the case and the mall may appear back to normal, but there is a heavier than usual police presence.

Police are investigating the shooting that took place in the Cheesecake Factory parking lot Thursday night.

Police say Hawkins was shot around 10 p.m. after two girls got into an argument in the movie ticket line.

“That ends up in one of them being asked to leave the mall – one of the females,” Colonie Police Lt. Bob Winn said. “And she’s part of the group that the shooter was in.”

Then the victim’s group of friends decides to leave as well when a fight began.

“Mostly verbal and some shoving outside the mall,” Winn said.

That’s when police say a black male shot Hawkins from behind and then drove off, according to police.

Police say they are making progress in the investigation but do not have enough information to identify a suspect. Investigators are actively working on the case and following several leads.

Police say there is no surveillance video from outside the mall that captured the shooting, and many people are wondering what the safety procedures are when something like this happens.

Connie Stankivicz is Colonie Center’s general manager. She was on scene Thursday night talking with police.

She said the mall has since increased security because customer and employee safety is their top priority.

“We take their safety very seriously,” she said. “And we do have our security that will be here throughout the weekend and additional police coverage that will also be here.”

Colonie Center could not comment on whether they might consider adding more cameras because they feel it might jeopardize the current investigation.

Police say the shooting was not random, and they’re expecting an arrest soon.

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