Suspect in shooting at South Shore Plaza held without bail

Suspect in shooting at South Shore Plaza held without bail

BRAINTREE, Mass. — A 21-year-old man charged with striking a 15-year-old girl when he fired a gun inside a Braintree’s South Shore Plaza pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday and was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.

Police say Jose Rodriguez pulled a gun during an altercation inside the South Shore Plaza and started firing. The 15-year-old was hit by a stray bullet and had injuries to her hand and a graze wound to the chest area.

Mayor Charles Kokoros and Braintree Deputy Chief Michael Want sat down with the Plaza’s General Manager to talk more about what can be done to make the mall safer.

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“We will enhance our security at the South Shore Plaza and we have the right PD to do that and the South Shore Plaza is more than willing to work with us as they have in the past. There will be many improvements that you may or may not see but will be there to protect the public while they are shopping,” said Kokoros.

The security meeting was already scheduled before Friday's shooting as the town continues to work on ways to make the shopping area safe. There was a shooting inside the food court area in 2017. Several changes were made then.

“There were a lot of things that really helped us with our response time,” the mayor said, “and the training that was put into place. We have a way of getting information out to many of the different stores all at once which is something we didn’t have in 17 prior to the incident.”

“When you go to court and you have video footage it does eliminate a lot of the doubt and when we are looking through these case as and trying to figure out, when you are talking a chaotic scene when people are running around and fighting., Having the video and review something over and over absolutely helps us,” said Want.

Right now, the mall is usually staffed by a police sergeant and two officers. The plan is to keep at least that much staffing. The mayor also says he talked to the victim Monday and the 15-year-old is expected to be OK.