Albany-- Albany police continue to investigate a murder at the Albany mall. The suspect is in custody, and police expect to file charges against him soon. APD tells us the man shot to death outside the JC Penney store entrance Thursday was 41-year-old Terence Melvin Bowen.
Police arrested 24-year old Quantravious Lanier Upshaw shortly after the shooting that happened about 1:20 PM Thursday. He is formally charged in the shooting.
Witnesses told police there was a confrontation outside JC Penney. The fight between Bowen and Upshaw carried into the store, and then back out onto the sidewalk where it ended with one gunshot. The victim was shot in the chest.
Police blocked off the area with crime scene tape. Paramedics covered Bowen's body and eventually put it inside a body bag and into an ambulance.
"The Albany police department has been diligent in securing the witnesses. And they've been diligent in serving the search warrants. They were able to get the alleged shooter rapidly after the event. So I anticipate we'll have questions answered very shortly," says Greg Edwards, Dougherty County assistant disctrict attorney.
Police say Upshaw ran away right after the shooting.They caught him quickly at Westover Car Wash just across Westover Boulevard from the mall.
Some shoppers tell News 10 they were a little anxious at the mall after the shooting. There wasn't a big crowd at the mall Thursday evening--- only lots of parking spots.
Right after the shooting, most people at the mall continued to shop or eat the food court unaware of what just happened.
A few shoppers we spoke to say they can't live their life in fear everywhere they go, but they'll certainly be more aware of their surroundings.
"We're in small town Albany, but we can't say that anymore. We are an official metropolis. Unfortunately, then crime rates go up, and that's what has happened. It makes me a lot more cautious," says shopper, Talia Ashley.
"You never know what's going on around us anymore. It's getting scarier and scarier every day to go somewhere else. First it's the schools. Now it's the mall," says shopper, Melissa Williams.
Most stores remained open after the shooting Thursday, and the main entrance to the mall never closed.
NEARBY BUSINESSES REACT:
The Albany Mall is one of the most visited places in Albany, and that area of town is the busiest retail center in southwest Georgia. The shooting worries a lot of people who own nearby businesses.
After a shooting left one person dead at the Albany mall, nearby business owners took action.
"Lock the door!" says Laurie Classon, who owns LaLa's Bear Factory--- which is just a few hundred feet away from where the shooting occurred.
"I got a phone call from my sister, and she said there had been a shooting at JC Penney," says Classon.
That shooting happened just before 1:30 PM. Classon locked her doors, "Probably at 1:45. This is the good part of Albany. Nothing ever happens like this at the mall," says Classon.
But even though it did, she doesn't feel the shooting will scare shoppers away. "People aren't going to stop shopping," says Classon.
Other nearby retailers aren't so sure. "Every one hangs out around here. This is the happening spot. I'm scared for what's going to happen later," says Jennifer Hall.
Jennifer Hall was working at Adventure Dive Center when the shooting took place nearby.
"I was pretty scared. That's something serious. Especially, since everything that happened at Virginia Tech," she says.
Hall predicts business may take a dive---but only a temporary one. "People may hide out in their homes for a little while. Eventually, over time every body will start getting out and about again," says Hall.
As for Classon, she's remains optimistic business will continue as usual---but will certainly be a little more cautious when it comes to running her own.
"If we have to from here on out we'll keep all the doors locked and if some drives up we'll let them in. If we're not real sure, we won't let them in," says Classon.