Suspect charged in U.P. Mall shooting, police conducting search

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(Photo supplied/St. Joseph County Prosecutors Office)

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office charged Dazhon A. Howard, 21 of South Bend, in connection with the Sep. 12 shooting death of Delaney Crosby at University Park Mall in Mishawaka.

He is charged with Murder and a Felony Firearm Sentencing Enhancement.

An arrest warrant issued and Howard was ordered held without bond.

Law enforcement is asking for assistance in locating Dazhon Howard.

He is described by authorities as a black male, 5’8”, approximately 160 pounds.

Anybody with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit at 574-235-5009 or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.

The sentencing range for Murder is 45 to 65 years. A Felony Firearm Sentencing Enhancement can add an additional 5 to 20 years to the conviction of the underlying
offense.

Information about the incident leading to the shooting from the Probable Cause Affidavit:

On September 12th, 2020, at about 2:46 PM Mishawaka Police were dispatched to the
University Park Mall, Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana for shooting. When officers
arrived they ultimately came upon a man down inside the mall.

The man was declared dead and had apparent gunshot trauma.

The victim was identified as Delaney Crosby, age 23.

Many Video clips were gathered off social media sites and store surveillance systems. Some
of these clips showed a single shooter, a younger black male dressed in an orange hooded
sweatshirt. Just prior to the shooting, the shooter and his company had been in a verbal
altercation with the victim and his company.

The shooter had been holding a black backpack from which he drew the handgun. The shooter concealed his draw by ducking behind his friend in a black sweatshirt. The shooter came from behind his friend and pointed the gun only at the victim. The victim ducked and the shooter began firing, firing several shots at the victim and only the victim. The victim fell where he stood, and everybody else ran away. The victim is not seen making any threatening moves in the several seconds leading up to the shooting, and the man with him dressed in red is holding a shopping bag in one hand and holding his pants up near the crotch with the other.

Near the victim, several spent shell casings were recovered. Just outside the mall, the black backpack was recovered. Inside the backpack was a semiautomatic handgun. An orange hooded sweatshirt was also recovered from the parking lot.

A witness from the mall identified a certain young lady,  as one of the members of the
shooter’s party. Police interviewed her and she explained that she had gone to the mall with her boyfriend and small children, as well as the shooter, whom she identified as Dazhon Howard by name and picture. She said she had known Howard for some time as he had grown up with her boyfriend.

Howard was wearing a bright orange hoodie. She explained that they went to the mall to exchange some shoes and that while they were doing so they saw Crosby, who called their company a derogatory name. Crosby then asked if they wanted to take it outside where he, “Had something for y’all.” The two sides continued to argue back and forth as they walked through the mall. She stated that Crosby never displayed or reached for a weapon, but she thought that maybe Crosby’s friend was, “clutching,” or grabbing at his clothing as if there were weapons concealed therein. She said Crosby flinched at their group like he was going to do something, and then Howard drew the handgun and fired at Crosby, hitting him several times. Howard’s was the only gun she saw during the whole episode. She said that they all ran, and got into the car. On the ride home, she yelled at Howard, asking him, “What‘d you do that for?”

Police interviewed another person who has been friends with Dazhon Howard for many years.

That person was at the mall with Howard and others and also told of Crosby saying that if the group wants to step outside he’s got something for them and that the man in red with Crosby appears to be clutching. The witness had his back turned to Howard when Howard drew the pistol and began firing. The witness said his reaction was surprise, asking himself, “What is going on?”

The witness expressed that he can not be pulled into criminal conduct because his family needs him. He immediately stated that Howard’s family needs him, too, “…but he did this dumb a** sh**, man.

1 COMMENT

  1. Where are the rallies against black on black crime??? If black lives matter where is the national news coverage and outcry over this? Sad thing how black lives have been politicized. More young black lives being raised without a father a big vicious circle

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