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Suspects in shoplifting identified

BUFORD - Two suspects arrested after a shooting incident at the Mall of Georgia last week have been identified as adults, not juveniles as originally believed.

Brandon Hill of East Point, and Joevontae Antwan Wallace of Atlanta, both 18, are charged with felony shoplifting, felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor providing false name and date of birth.

The two initially told police they were juveniles and gave fake names, but their real ages and identities were revealed when their fingerprint results returned from the Automated Fingerprint Information System, according to a police-issued press release.

Hill and Wallace were arrested at a nearby McDonald's Sept. 6, shortly after the incident was reported.

They were spotted leaving the mall parking lot on foot, and authorities followed them to the restaurant.

Three other suspects, including the alleged shooter, fled in a stolen Mercury Mountaineer.

Those three are still at large, but the department is confident that arrests could come sooner than later, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

The three men at large have also been identified as adults.

"It's going well," Moloney said. "(Investigators have) some good leads, and they're following up on them."

According to police reports last week, the five suspects entered the Macy's early that afternoon and attempted to steal merchandise from a clothing rack.

Mall security guards spotted the suspects after being tipped off and pursued them out to the parking lot.

Some of the suspects were caught by security, but were able to escape to the stolen vehicle.

That was when one suspect pulled a rifle from inside the vehicle and discharged an undetermined number of bullets at the security guards.

No one was hit by the gunfire.

Hill and Wallace at some point headed toward the McDonald's, but police did not say if they headed that way before or after the shooting.

Three of the suspects then fled in the Mountaineer heading southbound on Interstate 85. There was a short pursuit, but they were able to evade authorities.

They later ditched the SUV, which was reported stolen Sept. 1 in an alleged carjacking.

It was recovered in Atlanta hours after the mall incident.

Moloney said the case is a multijurisdictional investigation, and investigators are working with the city of Atlanta and other agencies.

The suspects are considered armed and dangerous.

As for the suspects in custody, there is no record of any criminal activity in Gwinnett County from either of the men.

It is suspected, however, that some or all of the suspects are responsible for reported incidents of shoplifting prior to the shooting last week.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective M.E. Miller at 770-513-5335.