The decision found that Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Brittany C. Grayson "erroneously exercised its discretion" by denying the prosecution's waiver petition to try the 15-year-old as an adult. The case started in juvenile court and so the suspect's name is not being revealed, with records referring to him under the pseudonym "Xander."
Prosecutors say the 15-year-old entered Mayfair Mall with a concealed handgun with a friend on Nov. 20, 2020. He became involved in an argument with four other people and it escalated into the 15-year-old opening fire. Eight people were hospitalized, including the suspect's friend, three of the people in the other group and four shoppers.
The mass shooting sparked a massive police response to the mall and a manhunt for the suspect.
The suspect left the mall with the help of his family, the state says, but police later arrested him. He was charged with eight counts of first-degree reckless injury with use of a dangerous weapon and one count of illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 years of age.
Prosecutors have been arguing the teen should be waived into adult court instead of remaining in juvenile court. Judge Grayson denied the request for a waiver but the court of appeals reversed that decision and remanded the case for a new waiver hearing. On Wednesday the state Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeal's decision.
"However, we conclude that a new waiver hearing is unnecessary. We conclude that the circuit court erroneously exercised its discretion by denying the State's waiver petition. There exists no reasonable basis for denying the State's waiver petition. Therefore, we remand the case to the circuit court with instructions to grant the State's waiver petition," according to the high court's decision.