A pregnant 19-year-old woman has died nearly a week after she was critically wounded in a shooting that also injured three others at the Independence Center mall Friday.
Karla Brown, 19, was at the mall shopping to prepare for her baby, according to Tina Ellison, a friend of Brown’s family. She tried to get to safety before a bullet struck her in the head, Ellison said.
On Friday night, Brown, who was 20 weeks pregnant, was placed on life support. Her unborn baby Max lost his heartbeat Saturday, Ellison said.
Brown’s organs are being donated. The family took her off life support late Wednesday.
Ellison started a GoFundMe to help Brown’s parents pay for her cremation, medical costs and other expenses. As of Wednesday, supporters had raised more than $5,000.
Before the shooting, Brown was a happy-go-lucky teen who worked at IHOP and was excited to be a mother, Ellison said.
Officers responded around 2:30 p.m. Friday to a shooting in the common area of the mall near the north entryway that injured four people, said Officer Jack Taylor, a spokesman for the Independence Police Department.
Four people were injured in the shooting, which detectives believe broke out because of a dispute between two groups of people. The other victims’ injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
Three persons of interest were taken into custody at the mall, but two have been released pending further investigation.
On Monday, Jackson County prosecutors charged Mark Anthony Greer, 21, with three counts of unlawful use of a weapon and three counts of armed criminal action for his alleged role in Friday’s shooting.
Greer was one of three people heading toward the mall’s north exit, when another group walked by, according to a probable cause statement submitted by an Independence detective. An argument started surrounding Greer’s prior romantic relationship with someone in the arriving group, according to a statement an involved person gave police.
At some point, the involved person told police that someone from the other group pulled out a gun and started shooting.
Two members of the arriving group, which included Brown, told police they had guns that they hadn’t fired. They told police Greer opened fire on their group, and they ran into the mall to seek cover.
Crime scene investigators found two calibers of shell casings — five from a .40 caliber near the mall’s doors and one from a 9mm in the breezeway, court documents said.
Surveillance footage reviewed by police showed Brown on a bench in the breezeway when the groups started arguing, court documents said. When Brown was shot, authorities allege she was in Greer’s “direct line of fire.”
After the shooting, Brown’s group abandoned her, left the mall and entered the Ford Taurus they arrived in, according to court documents. Officers stopped the vehicle and took two people into custody for questioning. A third person was transported to a hospital to treat a gunshot wound to their leg.
Another victim was struck in the leg and had no association with either group, court documents said.
Bill Lukitsch contributed to this report.