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Witness describes brawl inside Easton Town Center mall: 'That could have been a huge mass casualty event'

Two juveniles are facing charges after police say they were fighting the most aggressively and were caught with loaded guns.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Justin Nelson Nowakowski was leaving dinner Saturday night when he couldn't make sense of what he was seeing

"It was loud. People were screaming,” he said. “People were running toward the commotion, which made me think they must have known it was going to happen."

Police said as many as 50 teens were involved in a massive fight on the first floor. Video sent to 10TV from a viewer showed about a dozen Columbus police cruisers surrounding the outside of the mall. 

Two 17-year-olds are facing charges after they were caught with loaded guns.

“That could have been a huge mass casualty event,” Nowakowski said.

This isn't the first violent event to break out at a large shopping area. In June there was a deadly shooting inside a Tuttle Mall shoe store. In November 2021 there was a shooting outside Target near Easton Town Center. And before that in March 2021, shots were fired inside the Polaris Mall.

Nowakowski said these incidents give him second thoughts about visiting these places.

“I'll be honest, it does,” he said.

According to Easton's website, a rule for young teens was established in 2020: “children age 15 and under may not be on the property unless accompanied and supervised by a parent or legal guardian" and "discourteous, disorderly and disruptive conduct are unacceptable on Easton property."

Easton Town Management released a statement this weekend which reads in part, "the safety of our customers and those who work at Easton Town Center is our utmost priority. we have a zero-tolerance policy for actions that compromise safety."

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