After shooting, Washington Square Mall merchants rally behind East Side

Business owners are rallying after a shooting at Washington Square Mall Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A day after three people were shot inside the Washington Square Mall on the city’s east side, the search for the suspects continues.

IMPD says they’re looking for two suspects. The first is a black male 19 to 20 years old approximately 6 foot 6, thin build wearing a black hoodie and armed with a handgun. The second is also a black male, 19 to 20 years old, approximately 5 foot 10, thin build and wearing black clothing.

IMPD says the suspects and the victims knew each other.

The victims are identified as 26-year-old Aaron Carr, 20-year-old Myliah Esco, and 25-year-old Robert Kennedy, of Indianapolis. Carr is still in the hospital and the other two victims have been released.

The incident has business owners coming to the defense of their mall, saying it and the East Side are getting a bad rap.

Bungon Nettles owns Fast Wok with her husband. They’ve been in business for 20 years.

She says the East Side is a good place and that the people are like family to her.

Fast Wok is located in the west parking lot of Washington Square Mall.

The shooting was the lunchtime talk of the restaurant.

“It’s scary. It’s very scary, because you want to protect your children, you don’t want to go somewhere where you know people will do stuff like that,” said Lanaya Green while having lunch.

The mall has been on a steady decline since flagship stores left in the recession. But in its place came smaller mom and pop shops and organizations, including the Movie Theater Church.

“This church is called to meet people where they are and right now people are worried, concerned, scared,” said Rev. Ethan Maple, the lead pastor of the church.

When the mall reopened this morning the church held a prayer service. Rev. Maple said they and others now have a choice to leave or stand their ground.

They’re doing the latter.

“It’s not a time to run away and be scared. It’s a time to gather together and recognize we have an opportunity to stand in the face of violence and stand up for righteousness and for God to be in charge,” Rev. Maple said.

And and as Nettles continues to serve food to loyal customers, she’s encouraging others to follow her lead.

“I recommend any business to come over here to the East Side. That’d be nice, so we wouldn’t go out and spend money somewhere else,” Nettles said.

Officials at Jones Lang LaSalle, the mall’s management company and owner, says they’re taking proactive measures to secure the property, but they didn’t get into specifics.

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