August 28, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Harper Woods, Detroit police looking into whether Eastland mall, quadruple shootings are related

Police officers investigate the crime scene at Eastland Mall on Wednesday. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

Harper Woods — Police are checking for a possible connection between a double shooting at Eastland Mall Wednesday afternoon and a quadruple shooting in Detroit that killed one person and wounded three others.

The Eastland shooting occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday near an outside door of a closed Sears store and wounded 30-year-old man, Detroit rapper Hardwork Jig, and a 22-year-old woman, according to police.

At about 11 p.m. Wednesday night, four were shot in the 16600 block of Edmore, just a few blocks from the Eastland Mall. Eighteen-year-old Aundrea Garland was killed in the shooting while three other males were hit; two remain in critical condition while the other person is in serious condition.

“We don’t officially know that the two shootings are related, but we’re looking because of the proximity,” Harper Woods Police Chief Jim Burke said Thursday.

It’s also believed that a semi-automatic rifle — possibly an AK-47 — was used in both shootings. Harper Woods police reportedly found about 30 casings in the parking lot of Eastland after the afternoon shooting.

Harper Woods police said the man and woman were shot in the earlier incident about 3:30 p.m.near a door of the closed Sears store. As the woman was walking out, three or four males pulled up in a vehicle and shot from the windows, police said. The vehicle — believed to be occupied by at least three people — was last seen traveling east on Eight Mile.

The man, 30, suffered minor injuries. The woman, 22, underwent surgery and was upgraded from critical to serious condition, police said. Both were expected to recover.

On Wednesday afternoon, Theo Rolls and Michael Johnson were walking through the Eastland Center parking lot, headed to a McDonald’s, when the chaos erupted.

“There was a lot of yelling going on,” said Johnson, 17. “Then I heard gunshots.”

The teen said he heard two or three shots, then more yelling. “Someone was like, ‘Hurry up. Get in the car. Get in the car.’ ”

In the aftermath, two people were shot at the suburban mall on Vernier.

The victims were a man and a woman, police said.

A car pulled up and shot at a group of mall employees, said a woman who was picking up her sister.

Letitia Moore, a St. Clair Shores resident, said the woman who got shot in the back is a nail technician. Moore described her as kind and quiet.

“It’s really sad,” Moore said. “The force of a pen is more powerful than a bullet. ... If you have a problem with someone, build a paper trail.”

A mall representative didn’t respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

This isn’t the first time Eastland — home to retailers such as Macy’s, Target and Foot Locker — has experienced gunfire.

In September 2010, Cedell Henry Leverett, 30, was found shot several times as he sat in the driver’s seat of his car in the mall parking lot. Two people were charged in his death.

Last December, an 18-year-old Detroit man was arraigned and charged after allegedly shooting at a motorist in Harper Woods during an altercation at the mall.

The month before, shots also were fired in the mall’s parking lot after an armed robbery that may have started with an argument over sneakers, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Harper Woods Department of Public Safety at (313) 343-2530.

Detroit News Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed to this report.

Harper Woods Chief of Police Jim Burke addresses the media Wednesday ... (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)