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'How can I make this a safer place?': Community reacts to Killeen Mall shooting

Killeen Mall shooting
Posted at 5:49 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 23:40:21-05

The Killeen community is still in shock after last night's mall shooting, with many employees there returning to work this morning.

Miriam Ervi is the owner of Candy Corner located in the Killeen Mall and just happened to be working when shots rang out Tuesday night. She immediately sprang into action by barricading herself, an employee, and another mall worker inside the shop.

"We went into the back room and we called security and they said they were investigating and to please stay in the back room. I called 911 and they confirmed that something was going on and said, please stay in the backroom,” said Ervi.

She said she was able to stay calm because she could see what was happening outside the shop on her security camera.

"The police were already here and the mall security people were doing a great job making sure we were all safe,” said Ervi.

While business owners and employees in the mall are trying to get through the day, community leaders like Killeen City Council Woman Melissa Brown are left seeing the community they love in pain yet again.

"I’m disheartened and sad for our city because we’re coming into the holiday season when everybody should be able to have fun and be happy and enjoy time with their family; and [instead] we’re still in the face of violence,” said Brown.

Brown said the police did a great job in response to the mall shooting but, she sees areas that can be improved upon.

"I think that as a city, our police department could be patrolling areas where we have heavy shopping. So, the mall and Walmart areas,” said Brown.

While community leaders work to keep everyone safe, Ervi is thinking of ways to boost security at Candy Corner.

"That’s what I'm really thinking about today. How can I make this a safer place, or safe as possible? Um, especially if this happens again, I want to be prepared,” said Ervi.

Ervi said she plans to add locks to the doors that don’t have one yet as well as additional security cameras so that every angle of the store is covered.