The stabbing occured in the store’s parking lot after 10 pm on Monday night. According to a statement from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on Tuesday, Ms Powell and the suspect — allegedly Ms Jocson — argued inside the store and continued their altercation outside the store.
“The suspect reportedly asked Powell if she wanted to fight and then charged her while holding a pocketknife,” the statement read. “After the stabbing, the suspect fled on foot toward Doverside Drive. It is presently not believed that Powell and the suspect knew each other.”
According to WKRN in Nashville, investigators identified Ms Jocson as the suspect after reviewing Walmart surveillance footage. A police unit arrested Ms Jocson at her apartment just before midnight on Wednesday. She is being charged with criminal homicide.
Ms Powell’s family and friends have mourned her death, with Bellevue Middle School in a statement calling her an “amazing member” of its community.
“Malia was a cheerleader who encouraged her team to work hard, a loyal friend to many, and strived to grow in her academics,” the school said. “She was a leader amongst her peers, motivating everybody to be their best selves. Malia’s bubbly, energetic, and funny personality will be missed at Bellevue Middle School.”