FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two men, who police said tried to shoot and kill someone in a mall parking lot, are now behind bars, according to Fayetteville Police Department.
On Thursday around 7 p.m., officers responded to multiple calls of shots being fired in the Cross Creek Mall parking lot.
When officers arrived witnesses told police that the suspects, 21-year-old Jahrehl Malloy and 24-year-old Nyghil Kirk were trying to get away in a silver Volkswagen Golf.
Officers found the car in the parking lot and the two were taken into custody.
According to a preliminary investigation, a 22-year-old man was the intended shooting target. His identity is being withheld for his safety.
Police said as the victim exited the food court of the mall, a suspect was hiding behind a vehicle in the parking lot as the other suspect walked up to him. The victim attempted to get away when both suspects began shooting at him.
Both Mallow and Kirk face multiple charges including attempted first-degree murder. They are being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center.
This is just the latest example of gun violence plaguing North Carolina.
The Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence said the Tar Heel state has one of the highest rates of shooting deaths in the country. But just three years ago, the state ranked right in the middle at 24th. From 2008 to 2018, shooting deaths across the country increased by 16%
North Carolina activists said creating comprehensive social reforms that empower marginalized people is the answer to stopping the violence.
"It's a systematic issue. It's not an issue of Black or white. It's systematically incorrect. And when you look at systematic issues, they start from the head on down," Demetria Murphy said.
She went on to say a host of other societal problems feed into gun violence. She wants to see city leaders step up to steer marginalized communities away from turning to guns.
To her, that means tackling problems like drug use, domestic abuse and child abuse. And then also creating more options for those with criminal backgrounds trying to turn over a new leaf.
"No one just says, 'I just want to wake up and rob a bank or kill somebody or rob somebody.' You don't wake up with that notion," Murphy said. "There are circumstances that happen that push you to that point. So we need social workers in the police department. We need social workers on Capitol Hill. We need social workers everywhere so that we can really get down to the root cause."