A 16-year-old boy in Florida is accused of murder after he got into a verbal dispute with another teenager at a Walmart Supercenter that escalated into violence, authorities said.
Surveillance video allegedly shows Allah pull out a firearm that was tucked in his waistband and fire at Perez, who was hit but still managed to get out his own gun and return fire, a police report obtained by the station states.
“I dropped my sub and ran like hell, got to the parking garage the people around me told me to get down and duck behind cars,” Erika Pozo, who was eating in the store at the time, told WPLG.
After hearing multiple gunshots, another witness shopping near the electronics department told her mother to hide. “I thought, ‘That’s it, they’re going to shoot us up right now,’” Lily Sorzano said.
Perez was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Officers apprehended Allah not far from the store and he allegedly admitted to the shooting, the report states.
“[Allah] stated that following the argument, he proceeded to walk through the store,” police wrote in the report, noting Allah told investigators he and Perez had once been friends. “[He] explained that after hearing the victim call his name, he produced a handgun and began to fire at the victim.”
The suspect’s mother told WPLG her son was dealing with “ongoing” issues before the deadly incident. “They threatened Malachi,” she said. “They threatened to kill Malachi on several occasions.”
In addition to the murder count, Allah faces charges of carrying a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm by a minor, and discharging a firearm in public.