Woman faces accessory charge following fatal mall shooting

January 28, 2022 GMT

BRAINTREE, Mass. (AP) — A 27-year-old Attleboro woman is facing a criminal charge of accessory in connection to a fatal shooting at a Massachusetts mall, though police say the gunman remains at large.

Police arrested Samantha Schwartz on Thursday in Quincy. She faces a single count of accessory after the fact of murder, according to statements from Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey and Braintree Police Chief Mark Dubois.

Authorities say 26-year-old Dijoun Beasley, of Boston, was shopping inside a store at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree on Jan. 22 when another man fatally shot him with a handgun. Police have said Beasley was apparently targeted.

Schwartz pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Friday in Quincy. Her attorney, Christopher L. Malcolm, said Schwartz hopes to be acquitted once a jury hears the evidence.

Police are still searching for the suspect, whom they identified on Friday as Julius Hammond-Desir, 19, of Maynard. Morrissey said an arrest warrant has been issued, and he asked the public to report any information about Hammond-Desir’s whereabouts.

“We urge you not to approach him but to call 911 if you see him,” Morrissey said.

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The shooting sent shoppers fleeing from the suburban mall, which has been the site of previous violent acts in recent years.

Gang members exchanged gunfire inside a department store in 2017, and in 2020, a 15-year-old girl described as an innocent bystander was hit twice during a shooting.

Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros called the latest shooting unacceptable and said he would work with the mall’s owners to ensure safety.