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Cell phone video shows moments before shots fired at Chesterfield Towne Center

Posted at 11:54 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 00:07:46-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Video from Tuesday afternoon at Chesterfield Towne Center shows a fight between two men that led to a shooting in the mall's food court.

Multiple Crime Insider sources say the two men had been arguing over a face mask when the violence was captured on cell phone video.

The victim is in critical condition at Chippenham Hospital Trauma Center.

In the video shot in the middle of the Chesterfield Towne Center food court, the victim is seen punching the head of 23-year-old William Ezell Taylor, the Petersburg man police arrested early Wednesday morning.

The suspect can be seen reaching for his backpack, pulling out a gun, and then firing shots.

"Based on that video, he absolutely had the right to defend himself,” said legal expert Ed Riley. “The question is, did he go too far, and was the threat over?"

Taylor has been charged with aggravated malicious wounding and using a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Chesterfield Police responded to the mall and used tactical teams to sweep the building Tuesday night. It was not an active shooter call, but all entrances and exits were blocked.

Riley believes cell phone and surveillance video will be crucial in this case.

"Just the mere fact that he has his back to him doesn't negate self-defense,” said Riley. “For all we know he could've turned his back to grab a weapon. However, if he was leaving, the key to all of this is, is the person still a threat?"

Police arrested Taylor during a traffic stop without incident at about 2 a.m. Wednesday. He is due in court Thursday morning.

Police asked anyone with information to call Chesterfield Police at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.