Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh man charged with opening fire outside Crabtree Valley Mall on Monday told police that he was merely trying to fend off a robbery.

Damien Dayquann Lyons said he was in the mall parking lot to meet someone about selling an iPhone, and the purported buyers tried to rob him. That’s when the shooting started, he said.

Police said at least one shot was fired, sending shoppers running for cover.

Lyons, 24, of 6733 Magnolia Court, was charged with discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling or vehicle, going armed to the terror of the people and injury to personal property.

Law enforcement agencies across the Triangle have set up “safe zones” for completing purchases and sales of items that were arranged online.

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