Police now say five people, including a young child, were injured on Wednesday when an altercation at a shopping center in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale erupted into gunfire.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Five people, including a young child, were injured Wednesday when an altercation at a Phoenix-area mall erupted into gunfire and sent hundreds fleeing.
Earlier, police said three people, including at least one young child, were shot and one of the victims had life-threatening injuries. At a brief press conference Wednesday night, police said none of the victims’ injuries were life-threatening.
The incident at Tanger Outlets, a mall in a busy entertainment district in the western suburbs of Glendale, was “an altercation between two groups of people” that escalated into a fight and then a shootout, the police officer said. Glendale police, Tiffany Ngalula.
Police say a young man armed with a handgun was with a woman and a small child at the mall. The man got into a run-in with a group of young men he knew and a shooting ensued, police say.
Police say two young men from the second group arrived at the hospital with gunshot wounds and the man with the woman and child were taken to hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.
The names of the five people injured were not immediately released.
Hundreds of people who fled the gunshots as well as nervous friends and relatives who rushed to the scene lined up in parking lots near the mall hours after the shooting.
The mall and surrounding businesses remained closed as police searched and cleared stores where people were hiding. Ngalula said officers still had hundreds of people to interview, a task that would likely last well into the night.
Police at a checkpoint in the shopping center car park could be seen stopping motorists and inspecting the trunks of exiting vehicles. At another location, yellow crime scene tape was strung just outside the entrance to a mall.
Officers across the region responded after reports of gunfire around 2:40 p.m. in an outdoor courtyard of the mall. The mall is across from a Westgate Entertainment District parking lot and a few blocks from the Arizona Cardinals football stadium and Arizona Coyotes hockey arena.
Governor Doug Ducey said he was monitoring the situation.
“Once again, Arizona law enforcement has shown courage in keeping our community safe,” Ducey wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to all the men and women in blue for your bravery and service.”
The shooting comes nearly two years after a gunman injured three during a rampage at Westgate.
The 20-year-old suspect in that shooting, Armando Hernandez, allegedly drove through the entertainment district, returned to his car to make a social media video, and loaded three rifle magazines. Glendale Police said the shooter filmed the attack while holding a cellphone with his left hand and firing the rifle in his right hand.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty. His case is due to go to trial in June.