BLACK STONE CHERRY Drummer In Lockdown During Shooting At Kansas Mall

November 13, 2023

BLACK STONE CHERRY drummer John Fred Young found himself in the middle of the pandemonium during a shooting at Oak Park Mall late Sunday afternoon (November 12) in Overland Park, Kansas.

Two suspects were reportedly taken into custody after a single shot was fired during a struggle between three plainclothes officers and two unidentified male suspects who were being apprehended for shoplifting.

Late Sunday, BLACK STONE CHERRY vocalist/guitarist Chris Robertson posted the following message on the band's social media: "We are feeling incredibly extra THANKFUL and BLESSED tonight.

"We were enjoying a day off at Oak Park Mall outside Kansas City. Our days off are always usually at a mall to decompress, walk, and check out the stores. Today was different. One minute you're looking around a shop, the next you hear screaming, chaos, and what sounded like a stampede. There had been shots fired inside. People were running everywhere and you could hear and see panic on every innocent face. It was truly terrifying.

"I texted our band group and told everyone wherever you are, to get out immediately," he continued. "I found a top level parking lot exit and came out and saw people tripping over road cones, parents holding their children while running…just pure chaos. Like a movie.

"John Fred was in lockdown inside a store with about 15 other people. The rest of us that were inside had made it to the bus. We texted with JF back n fourth giving updates. Thankfully, the local PD did a great job and apprehended two suspects and thankfully, nobody was hurt.

"This isn't a post for sympathy for us, but more of a post to say we are just so incredibly thankful. So incredibly blessed.

"This was the first time our group had been in a situation like this while on the road, doing something we do every single day off.
We embraced each other multiple times after this experience. If you've been involved in something similar, we completely sympathize with you.

"We love you all so much. We love each so much. You just never know…take time to tell those you love them. You just never know…

"Wichita, KS and the rest of this tour will be even more special and even more thankful to be able to play.

"We love our families. We love you. We are so thankful this season."

Officials with Oak Park Mall released the following statement regarding the incident on Monday: "We take these situations very seriously. In addition to our full-time third party security provider, we maintain a close working relationship with Overland Park Police Department. Our security program is 24/7 and covers the interior and exterior of the property. We evaluate our protocols on an ongoing basis, making adjustments as necessary.

"The mall was placed on lockdown as a precaution and mall management was in continual communication with stores via our tenant notification system, to advise of the status of the situation as it evolved. Once cleared of the lockdown, the mall did not reopen since it was close to the normal closing time of 6 p.m."

The Overland Park Police Department is asking anyone who was present near the food court and recorded video of the incident to share it with police.

BLACK STONE CHERRY's eighth studio album, "Screamin' At The Sky", came out on September 29 via Mascot Records.

Photo: Jimmy Fontaine

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