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Shooter jailed after wounding 5 at mall

TEXARKANA, Texas, Feb. 18 -- A suspected gang member allegedly shot and wounded five people at a crowded Texarkana mall Sunday before being arrested, police said. Texarkana police spokesman Jeff Heminger said Jason Lamar Delaney, 20, was jailed without bond on five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He said the incident was gang related. 'He is a self-professed member of the Dawg Pound gang,' Heminger said. 'Officers believe the other gang was the West Side Crips.' He said Delaney was arrested in the parking lot within minutes of the shooting at crowded Central Mall. 'There were lots of people doing their shopping there.' Heminger said gang trouble in Texarkana -- a town of 35,000 people on the Texas side of the Texas-Arkansas border and fewer than 25,000 on the Arkansas side -- is a recurring problem,, but is not yet overwhelming. 'Texarkana is a hub city with several major highways converging on the town, and due to the fact that there is a lot of traffic, this is just a natural place to go,' Heminger said. Gangs are 'trying to establish themselves there, although the effort fades in and out,' he said. 'They've had members from California come in the past, but they were removed.' The mall shooting stemmed from a dispute that began Friday when Delaney got into a dispute with Treg Andre Bell, 18, Heminger said. Delaney encountered Bell and his companions at the Central Mall, where their disagreement flared up again. Delaney then pulled a .38 caliber pistol and shot Bell once in stomach, Heminger said.

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Bell's companions ran when the shooting started, but were also hit, he said. Chris Arnold, 18, was struck in the arm and upper back. Sherman Chatman, 18, was hit in the buttocks. Both were listed in fair condition. Julian Turner, 16, was grazed in right side, but did not know he was injured until he noticed blood during police questioning. He was surprised by the discovery, said Heminger. 'He said, 'Hey, I think I'm bleeding here,'' Heminger said. Officers treated Turner at the station before releasing him. A bystander, 17-year-old Brian Townsend, was hit in thigh, but was listed in good condition at Wadley Regional Medical Center, along with the other victims.

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