Two suspected gang members are in custody and investigators are looking for others involved after a shooting between two rival gangs outside a Utah mall, police said.
The incident took place Sunday afternoon near an entrance of the Fashion Place mall in Murray, about eight miles south of Salt Lake City, forcing shoppers to evacuate with their hands raised.
Danielle Calacino, who works at a Crate & Barrel at the mall, told The Associated Press that employees and customers hid in the store’s stockroom for about 40 minutes before police escorted them outside. Some were crying, she said, but “we were mostly all quiet and in shock.”
A man and woman, both believed to be members of the same gang, were shot, Murray police officer Kenny Bass said at a Monday news conference.
The woman has since been released from the hospital, Bass said, while the man is in critical condition.
No bystanders were hurt, Bass added.
The fight, which involved about one dozen people, began with a “verbal altercation between the members of the two separate gangs.” When one group started to leave the mall, the other group followed, Bass said.
Once they were outside, a member of one gang fired at the other group and that group returned fire, Bass said. The timing and who fired is still under investigation, Bass said.
“All of the individuals involved on both sides fled the area except for the two that were wounded,” Bass said.
Two 19-year-old men believed to be involved have since been identified, interviewed and taken into custody, Bass said. The men, from the same gang, were booked on charges of attempted criminal homicide and discharge of a firearm, Bass said.
Authorities are looking for witnesses as they work to identity and interview all others involved in the shooting, Bass said.
The Fashion Place mall wrote on Twitter Sunday, “We are very saddened by the incident that happened outside our shopping center this afternoon. We are grateful to our security and the quick response of our partners at the Murray Police Department.”