Two suspected gang members are in custody and researchers are searching for others involved following a shooting between two rival gangs out a Utah mall, authorities said.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon near an entry of the Fashion Place mall at Murray, about eight miles south of Salt Lake City, forcing shoppers to evacuate with their hands raised.
Danielle Calacino, who works in a Crate & Barrel in the mall, told The Associated Press that workers and clients hid from the store’s stockroom for approximately 40 minutes before police escorted them out. Some were crying, she said, but “we were mostly all quiet and in shock.”
A man and woman, both considered to be members of the same gang, were taken, Murray police officer Kenny Bass said in a Monday news conference.
The girl 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, started with a “verbal altercation between the members of the two separate gangs.” When one group began to leave the mall, another team followed, Bass said.
Once they were out, a part of one gang shot in another group and that group returned fire, Bass said. The timing and that fired remains under investigation, Bass said.
“All of the individuals involved on both sides fled the area except for the two that were wounded,” Bass said.
2 19-year-old men believed to be involved have since been identified, interviewed and taken into custody,” Bass said. The men, from exactly the exact same gang, were booked on charges of attempted criminal homicide and discharge of a firearm, Bass said.
Authorities are searching for witnesses as they work to individuality and interview others involved in the shooting,” Bass said.
The Fashion Place mall composed 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.”