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HomeNewsSerial Shoplifter Linked to Augusta Mall Shooting; Shooter Still Sought

Serial Shoplifter Linked to Augusta Mall Shooting; Shooter Still Sought


A Martinez woman, known for her history of brazen thefts, has been connected to the recent Augusta Mall shooting incident, which left one person injured and led to the chaotic shutdown of the shopping center.

Tybrea Nelson, 24, from Martinez, was jailed early Tuesday on two counts of aggravated assault. She is accused of aiding the gunman Sunday during the shooting where a young Dillard’s customer was struck in the back and right hand on Sunday afternoon and narrowly missed ha 65-year-old woman from North Augusta.

Nelson was reportedly with the shooter around 1:40 p.m. on Sunday when gunfire erupted within the aisles of the department store. The victim, 20-year-old Tyquez Evans of Augusta, was shot in the back and right hand, and he was listed Monday in stable condition at Wellstar MCG Health. The older woman was not hit.

After the incident, Nelson and the unidentified shooter fled the mall, got into a vehicle, and she dropped him off at another location, authorities said.

The gunfire terrorized shoppers and employees, with some running for the exits and others hiding wherever they could before feeling safe to leave. The mall closed early as deputies swarmed the shopping center with K9s and investigators to identify the suspects.

Known for her history as a serial shoplifter, Nelson has been involved in thefts since her juvenile years.

In February, Nelson was arrested for felony shoplifting and misdemeanor shoplifting in Columbia County. During an attempted apprehension by law enforcement, she led them on a chase and was found to be driving with a suspended license.

The felony shoplifting case involved stealing hundreds of dollars’ worth of merchandise from the Evans Belk store in December. According to reports, a Belk employee witnessed Nelson placing boxes of perfume and Polo shirts into her cart before fleeing the store. The stolen property was estimated to be valued between $500 to $700.

Another shoplifting incident occurred on Feb. 6 at Old Navy in Evans, where Nelson took over $150 worth of items. Witnesses followed Nelson to her red Toyota Camry and documented her license plate, leading to her identification and subsequent evasion of apprehension at a nearby store.

In February 2021, she was charged with criminal damage to property and sentenced to probation for scratching a woman’s car at a gas station on Wrightsboro Road.

Along with another woman, the pair scratched a woman’s car at the Raceway gas station on Wrightsboro Road.  “I did it, bitch,” was scratched into the paint.

The victim said she has an ongoing beef with the suspects for quite a while. Deputies observed scratches on all four fenders, all four doors, the hood, trunk, quarter panels and the inscription on the passenger side doors of the 2005 Toyota Camry. 
Nelson was given five years of probation and was picked up later for violating the terms of the sentence in 2021. The probation warrant was eventually dismissed last year.

In addition, Nelson faced charges of aggravated assault in 2021 following a domestic violence incident, resulting in further probation.

Nelson’s criminal activities at the Augusta Mall date back to 2015 when, as a 15-year-old, she was caught shoplifting with an 18-year-old friend inside JC Penney’s. Video footage showed the pair tampering with merchandise and attempting to leave the store without paying.

Video footage showed the pair approach a table of pants and Nelson picking up a couple of pairs and removed the ink tags from them in a dressing room.

“She then concealed one pair of the pants in an empty shoe box that was concealed in a shopping bag,” a report says. “She then left the fitting room and placed a pair of the pants back on the table meeting up” with her friend.

Nelson then took more items to the dressing room, removed ink tags and concealed the items in her box.

A loss prevention officer stopped the girls and discovered the pants concealed in the shoe boxes.

Despite her numerous run-ins with the law, Nelson has shown reluctance to cooperate with authorities, often providing false information when stopped for traffic violations or driving without a license.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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