VISALIA – Two men were arrested over the weekend in connection to a shooting that left two people injured at the Visalia Mall.
Anthony Hansen, 18, of Visalia was arrested early Saturday morning, only seven hours after the shooting. On Sunday afternoon, 18-year-old Adrian Esquer of Visalia was also arrested.
Police believe the two men are responsible for shooting Miguel Alcala, 20, in the neck and Steven Haynes, 21, in the leg inside the Sweets Factory store in the mall just before 7 p.m. on Friday. Police believe the incident happened when rival gangs crossed each other. Police do not believe Haynes was one of the intended targets.
Police said that workers in the mall reacted quickly after the shots broke out.
“They immediately locked and secured their areas with the roll down security gates,” said Lt. Brian Winter with the Visalia Police Department.
Officers arrived at the mall within minutes of the shooting. They interviewed witnesses and looked over security camera footage in an effort to identify the suspects.
Police were able to identify Hansen as one of the shooters, and officers, assisted by the SWAT team, arrested him around 2 a.m. Saturday. The next day around 4:15 p.m., officers and the SWAT team arrested the second suspect, Esquer, without incident at his home. The men are being held on charges of attempted homicide with a gang enhancement.
The Visalia Mall released a statement reassuring the public about the mall’s commitment to keeping their customers safe.
“We take it very seriously when our safety and well-being is threatened,” it said.
Haynes, the innocent bystander who was shot, was treated at Kaweah Delta Medical Center and released. Alcala was transferred to Community Medical Center where he is listed in serious condition.
The Fresno Bee: Second suspect arrested in Visalia Mall shooting
Visalia Times-Delta: Second man arrested in connection with Visalia mall shooting