Man charged in Independence mall shooting

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Charges were filed Wednesday in the shooting of two teenagers last weekend at Independence Center.

Eric Bratton, 24, of Kansas City, Mo., was charged with two counts each of first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

The popular shopping mall was locked down just before 5 p.m. Saturday after the shooting while authorities rushed to the area near Sears and Forever 21.

Investigators released images of two persons of interest Saturday night. On Tuesday, authorities spent much of the day questioning two people in connection to the shooting.

According to court documents, Bratton and the male victim got into a fight outside the mall after Bratton made a comment about the female victim's buttocks.

To read the entire probable cause statement click here , or go to

A second unidentified person with Bratton pulled the two apart and the male victim thought it was all over, the documents said.

But according to the victim, Bratton followed him and his companion into the mall, urging him to "go outside" and "finish this."

Bratton eventually pulled a semi-automatic handgun and shot both teenagers, prosecutors said. The male was shot in the thigh and the girl in the foot. They both sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were treated and released from an area hospital.

Bratton was being held on a $250,000 bond. He made his first court appearance Wednesday and has another date set for Feb. 1. If convicted, he faces a maximum of life in prison.

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