New River Valley Mall shooting suspect bought 12-gauge shotgun legally

Mall Shooting-Virginia.JPEG-062d1Neil MacInnis, the teenager accused of opening fire Friday at the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg, was taken into custody with a 12-gauge shotgun that he legally purchased two days before the shooting, investigators say.

MacInnis wounded two women inside New River Community College’s satellite campus, which is inside the mall.

MacInnis’ shotgun was bought legally on Wednesday from a licensed dealer in the New River Valley. Nine spent shell casings were recovered inside New River Community College. Three different types of ammunition were found – bird shot, buck shot, and slugs. Click here to see the search warrant.

Investigators have not found a relationship between MacInnis and the two victims. The Christiansburg Police Department believes the two victims just happened to be in the lobby when MacInnis entered the building. One of the victims was a part-time employee at New River Community College, and the other was a student.

The off-duty mall security guard who was the first to confront MacInnis has been identified as James Gorman. Gorman is credited with ordering MacInnis to drop his weapon and to get on the ground. Gorman then held MacInnis on the ground until two Christiansburg police officers arrived moments later, and took him into custody.

Gorman is employed by AlliedBarton, and is chief of security at the New River Valley Mall. AlliedBarton is contracted to provide security at the New River Valley Mall.

It’s still not clear what MacInnis’ motive was. During his interview with detectives he said that he “was having a bad week.”

MacInnis, who was appointed a public defender in court Monday, is being held in the Montgomery County Jail without bond. He is charged with two counts of malicious wounding, and two counts of using a firearm in commission of a felony.

MacInnis has been charged with malicious wounding instead of attempted murder because under Virginia law, the penalties for malicious wounding are more severe than for attempted murder, according to the Christiansburg Police Department.

MacInnis completed the Christiansburg Police Department Citizens Academy program in 2012. It’s a 12-week course that has been around since 1995. The course gives citizens an overview about a typical day as a police officer.

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