Mall Shootout Suspect Facing Felony Charges

By Raymond McCaffrey, Eric Rich and Leef Smith
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, November 20, 2006; 3:26 PM

A teenager who allegedly initiated a shootout with an off-duty U.S. Secret Service agent at an Annapolis mall Saturday faces multiple felony charges for the incident, which left both shooters and another teenager wounded, Anne Arundel County police said today.

Police identified the assailant as Javaughn Norman Adams, 18, who is in stable condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after being shot twice by the agent.

Adams faces felony charges for attempted murder and assault when he is released from the hospital, said Sara Schriver, a county police spokeswoman. Before pressing charges against Adams, police "have to conduct a formal interview with him," she said. Police did not release an address for Adams, although Schriver said he has ties to the Annapolis area.

Schriver declined to identify the Secret Service agent, who is also in stable condition at Shock Trauma in Baltimore after being shot in one of his legs.

The gun battle erupted at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the food court of the Westfield Shoppingtown Annapolis mall, sending scores of shoppers racing for exits or diving under tables. The shooting broke out after the Secret Service agent spotted as many as eight young men assaulting another young man and intervened to try to stop the fighting, according to a preliminary police account.

Adams drew a handgun and fired, hitting the agent once in the leg, police said. The agent then drew his weapon, fired seven times and struck Adams twice in the abdomen, police said. The agent was with a family member, who was not injured.

The injuries to each man -- as well as to Tahzay L. Brown, a 16-year-old Annapolis High School student who was struck in the crossfire -- were not considered life-threatening.

Schriver said yesterday that it was unclear whether the bullet that hit Brown was fired by the agent or the teenager.

Georgia Goslee, an attorney authorized to speak on behalf of Brown's family, said Brown was drawn into the violence because the person who was being assaulted is his friend. She said the confrontation between the friend and the larger group was "spillover from an earlier incident that happened at the school . . . back in September."

Fighting at Annapolis High School in September resulted in the arrest of nearly 20 students. More recently, seven students were arrested in connection with three fights at the high school on Friday.

Police have said the fights stemmed from "neighborhood rivalries," particularly among students from public housing complexes.

Goslee said of Brown, who was treated at a hospital and released, "Obviously, he's upset and shocked. He's disturbed by the entire occurrence."

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