Man sentenced in connection with mall shooting that led to car crash in Montgomery County

A man was sentenced to a decade behind bars Tuesday almost one year after a shooting outside of a crowded mall in Montgomery County.

Santiago Alvarez, 19, pled guilty to first-degree assault, admitting to shooting a man he believed was in a rival gang, prosecutors said. It occurred outside of Westfield Wheaton Mall.

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The man who was shot by Alvarez was traveling in a car that crashed into a Dick’s Sporting Goods store. A woman in the car was also shot. Both victims survived.

“There were hundreds of people in that shopping mall, if not thousands,” explained Montgomery County State’s Attorneys Office Spokesperson Ramon Korionoff. “And within the area of the car crash and of the shooting, dozens of people could’ve been hurt. Fortunately, he crashed into a pole and none of the stray bullets were flying in anyone’s direction, or at least didn’t hit anyone.”

Officially, Alvarez was sentenced to 25 years in prison, with all but 10 years suspended.