The case against the man accused of firing a gun inside Tysons Corner Center in Virginia can go forward, a judge said.
In a preliminary hearing Monday, the judge also ruled that Noah Settles, 22, will be held for now as the case goes forward.
Settles faces five charges for the shooting that took place on June 18 over Father’s Day weekend.
No one was hurt, but in a video shown in court, people could be seen running and diving to the floor.
“This incident was incredibly frightening, incredibly scary. I can only imagine what the people in the mall that day must have thought,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said.
Settles’ family said he was acting is self-defense. In court Monday, evidence was presented that two other people had guns inside the mall that day.
Settles’ attorney Peter Greenspun suggested that his client was in an altercation with some other people in the mall, and was being threatened. However, Settle did not fire his gun at anyone specifically.
Greenspun also said his client was being overcharged and should only be facing misdemeanor charges.
Descano dismissed that, saying firing a gun into a mall is worthy of felony charges.
“You cannot come into Fairfax County, shoot up a mall and expect to walk out with anything other than a very, very stiff prison sentence,” Descano said.
Settles is charged with three counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied building, attempted malicious wounding, and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
If convicted on all charges, he could get up to 43 years in prison. Another court hearing is set for September.