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The shootings in malls across the country have highlighted what experts say there is a need for vigilance amid the apparent propensity of criminals towards violence and gun use, even in crowded public places. Too.

Nakisha Billa, a Philadelphia woman whose son was shot dead after a fight at a local mall, expressed regret to Fox News Digital that she didn’t stop the 21-year-old from going to the shopping center. Dominic Billa was just weeks away from his 22nd birthday on March 29, 2021, when he was shot in the food court of the Philadelphia Mills Mall, formerly known as the Franklin Mills Mall.

“I wish I had said, ‘No. Don’t go to that mall.'”

– nakisha badge

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Police said at the time that two groups started fighting inside the mall when shots were fired and Dominic was killed. Several bullets hit him in the chest and he could not be saved.

Speaking to Fox News Digital, Nakisha Billa recalled how her son went to the mall to buy pants for an upcoming job interview. She was working as a public transport driver that day and knew she would pass through the mall on her route.

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Shooting in America’s Mall: No casualties reported in three shootings at Nike stores

“I was totally, I think, just in a happy place that he was taking the initiative himself, and I had the opportunity to see him again while I worked,” she said, when reached by phone. “I didn’t think about the mall he was going to, and how it’s often full of guilt there. Who thinks about such bad things when everything, your whole intention, is to do good. And determined to do what is expected of someone who is trying to excel in life?”

“There was no worry about her son going to the mall that day,” Billa said.

“I often get stuck with a heavy heart,” she continued. “I wish I had said, ‘No. Don’t go to that mall. Maybe go somewhere else.’ So, it hurts, sitting back and thinking about that day, wondering if I could have stopped it by just saying, ‘Go to a different place to get work pants.'”

The US has witnessed mall shootings in parts of the country over the past several months, including the same Philadelphia shopping center where Dominic Badge was killed.

Police said at the time that weeks earlier, a man was killed inside the mall after he was seriously injured. The 21-year-old victim was shot in the neck around 1:30 pm on February 6, 2021 and was taken to a local hospital. Details of events prior to the shooting were not released at that time.

The Indiana Mall shooter has been waiting in the food court bathroom for more than an hour; Victims include married couples

Most recently, on July 17, 2022, a 20-year-old gunman opened fire inside an Indiana mall and killed three people after waiting in the bathroom for over an hour.

Police officers said the gunman was inside a bathroom near Greenwood Park Mall’s food court for about an hour and two minutes before entering the dining area and fired his Sig Sauer shotgun. Police said he had a second shotgun and ammunition, which he kept in the bathroom, and was wearing a “waistband holster with several magazines”.

Greenwood Police Department Chief Jim Iason said that within minutes, a legally armed “Good Samaritan” Elijah Dicken fired a pistol and “neutralised” the suspect.

The deceased were identified as Pedro Pineda, 56, his wife, Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, and Victor Gomez, 30. Two other people were injured.

No one was injured during a shooting at Minnesota’s famed Mall of America on August 4, even despite the chaos that followed three shots at a Nike store within the sprawling building.

Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said at the time that shots were fired after a fight broke out between the two groups.

“Things like this can happen anywhere, anytime”

–Joseph Sullivan, Philadelphia Deputy Commissioner of Police (retired)

“They decided to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for human life,” Hodges told reporters. “He decided to fire several rounds at a store with people.”

Then, on August 20, someone was shot in a Lafayette, Louisiana, mall. The victim and another man were fighting inside the Acadiana Mall at around 2:30 p.m. local time when one of them opened fire. The victim went to the local hospital.

At least two mall shootings were reported during Labor Day weekend, one at the Irving Mall in Irving, Texas, on September 4, and the other inside the Independence Center in Independence, Missouri, on September 5. According to reports, no victim was injured in both these incidents.

Additionally, on Saturday, three people were shot, killing one, inside Dallas’s Big T Plaza, a small shopping mall in Central Oak Cliff, a local affiliate. Fox 4 reported,

Albert Martinez, executive assistant chief of the Dallas Police Department, called the shooting “basically an ambush.”

Reportedly, Martinez said, “There was an attacker on three people inside this space. We don’t know why this happened.”

The shooting took place at around 1:15 pm local time. According to Fox 4, police have identified the man who died as 36-year-old Cordero Robinson. The suspect was reportedly charged with murder, although a motive was not disclosed.

Joseph Sullivan, the now-retired deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, told Fox News Digital on Monday that his own children shopped at the Philadelphia mall where Badge was killed.

Big T Plaza Dallas in Dallas, Texas

He said there is “100%” more public fear when it comes to visiting public places like shopping malls.

“Places where the problem used to be fights and disorderly crowds are now the concern of bullets, and malls are an example,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan, who was on the job for nearly 40 years before retiring, said he has spoken personally with his family about how to deal with such a worst-case scenario.

A photo composition of Nakisha Lewis, left, is calling for the impeachment of Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner after his son, Dominic Billa, right, was murdered.

“There is no way to be sure that you are 100% safe in any public place today,” he said. “The conversations I’ve had with my kids, especially my son, are just because of the proliferation of guns when you’re in a public place, if someone is trying to engage you… you just walk away. Best to go.”

He continued: “In today’s world, verbal arguments make things go faster. They sometimes even skip physical confrontations and go straight to gunfire.”

Sullivan urged people to be aware of what is happening around them in public and to stay away from people who make them uncomfortable. He said anyone who hears gunshots should move away from the area — and leave their personal belongings if needed — and call 911.

He said that it was time for private security companies to increase the quality and quantity of security officers appointed by them; However, he noted that they can only provide a certain level of protection.

David Katz, CEO of Global Security Group, said there is “absolutely fear” because of the increase in crime, but added that private security officers are limited in when they can arrest individuals.

However, private security, he said, may decide to make a building, such as a mall, a “safe environment,” such as by adding metal detectors or other additional resources.

He said people “basically need to look out for themselves. They need to be mindful of their own safety. They need to be alert, they need to always understand where the exits and entrances are, And they should be able to understand something immediately. It’s out of the ordinary and potentially threatening and acts without being directed by the police or a store manager or mall operator.”

Former Deputy Commissioner Sullivan said people “don’t fight fair or fist fight”—instead, they’ll “quickly move up to a shotgun.”

“The reality of the world we live in today is that these kinds of things can happen anytime, anywhere,” he said. “It’s not something where you want to blame the victim – people are just trying to enjoy public places … it’s unfortunate that this type of risk exists.”