Store Owner to Be Returned to California in Girl’s Shooting | Nevada News


LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Southern California store owner jailed in Las Vegas as a fugitive accused of wounding a 9-year-old girl when he shot at shoplifters three days ago said Friday he won’t contest his transfer in custody back to the desert city of Victorville to face criminal charges.

Marqel Cockrell, 20, stood in court to tell a judge he understood he will be extradited within 30 days. He was not represented by an attorney.

Cockrell is being held at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, a nearly 3-hour drive on Interstate 15 from Victorville, where police said he faces at least one attempted murder charge.

The girl, identified by family members as Ava Chruniak, had been waiting with family members to have her photo taken with the Easter bunny at the Mall of Victor Valley when she was struck by three gunshots, including a bullet that fractured an arm bone, according to her grandmother, Robin Moraga-Saldarelli.

Police said in a statement that Cockrell co-owns the shoe store Sole Addicts and was chasing shoplifters at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when he fired shots that “instead hit the 9-year-old female victim.”

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Cockrell drove away before police arrived. He was arrested about 9 p.m. Tuesday by Nevada Highway Patrol troopers.

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