CherryVale Mall to increase security after latest shooting

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Today, police announced the arrest Marquise Caldwell, 31, in connection with a shooting that occurred in the parking lot of Macy’s at CherryVale Mall on February 14th.

The shooting was the latest in a string of violent incidents at the mall. Local law enforcement and criminal prosecutors say they’re boosting mall security to keep shoppers feeling safe.

“We’re constantly changing, and looking, and updating, and upgrading out security protocols everyday, based off of traffic patterns or every incident,” said the mall’s marketing director, Melissa Cavanaugh. “Our security department, our security officers, are here 24 hours a day. They are patrolling inside and outside and they are here to look after our customers, tenants, and employees.”

The mall relies heavily on a sophisticated security system with hundreds of surveillance cameras, both inside and outside.

“We have hundreds of views of this property, with high definition cameras that are designed not to be visible,” Cavanaugh said. “They are designed to give us a clear view of what’s happening on the property.”

Cherry Valley Police Chief Roy Bethge says the mall’s surveillance system helped with the Valentine’s Day shooting incident.

“The video surveillance system played a significant role in developing Mr. Caldwell as a suspect,” he said.

Police said Caldwell went into several stores and then followed another person, whom authorities believe to have been his target, out through the Macy’s exit, and fired several shots.

Caldwell was arrested in Wisconsin on February 21st and brought back to Winnebago County, where he has been charged with Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm.

Because of prior weapons convictions, Caldwell is also charged with Armed Habitual Criminal.

“We’re going to have a very strong police presence [at the mall,] with my department, Cherry Valley, Illinois State Police, and the [Rockford Police Department],” said Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana.

At a press conference at the mall on Thursday afternoon, Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said, “If you commit a crime at this mall, we will find you and arrest you and we will convict you.”

Bethge concluded, saying, “Violence is not welcome here. If you intend to come here and act up, we will find you and arrest you.”

Cherry Valley Police say they have identified two other “persons of interest” seen in surveillance video with Caldwell on the day of the shooting, but have not yet said if any further charges will be forthcoming in the investigation.

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