Danville Mall employee and shopper react to fatal shooting; suspect still at large

Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Police are still looking for the person involved in a shooting that killed one person Saturday night inside a store in the Danville Mall.

Bath and Body Works employee Danni Gammon says the incident left her shaken.

“I could’ve been here. That could’ve been me. You never really know what’s gonna happen,” said Gammon. “I could go to work today, and it could happen again.”

The suspect, 18-year-old Christian Pinckney, is accused of killing 26-year-old Tyshais Dashawn King. (Police originally released a different spelling of the name, then corrected it.) Danville Police Major Chris Wiles says the shooting happened just before 7:15 inside Hibbett Sports. Wiles says the shooter ran away after firing the gun.

“We do know those individuals knew each other,” said Wiles. “They had contact within the store and it escalated very quickly.”

Wiles says Pinckney has a previous offense as a juvenile, and now faces multiple charges as an adult.

“Second-degree murder. Shooting in an occupied building and also a possession of firearm by a felon,” explained Wiles.

Aliyah Perez was buying tights for a Halloween costume house party before the incident.

“It’s surprising and it’s sad because I’m pretty sure it didn’t need to happen,” says Perez.

And Gammon says she will be looking over her shoulder.

“I hope that when I go to work, we do have a conversation about it and more safety precautions and everything,” added Gammon. “And kinda make a game planner for what if it happens again.”

Police officers conducted a heart walk at the Danville Mall after the shooting, an effort to give the community information and offer resources.

Law enforcement wants to thank retailers for responding quickly. But police warn the public the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous. This is still an ongoing investigation and police ask anyone with information to reach out to Danville Police.