DEMING, N.M. – A man and a 6-year old girl were shot and wounded Tuesday inside a Wal-Mart in southern New Mexico, and police said two men were in custody.
A third "person of interest" also was being sought.
No information was available on the condition of either shooting victim or their connection, if any, to the suspects. Police said the male victim was a store employee.
A third victim suffered "superficial injuries" in a scuffle with at least one of the suspects during the shooting, said Deming police Lt. James Wycoff.
Wycoff identified the two suspects in custody as local men but offered no names or other details. He said the "person of interest" may be a key witness to the crime.
A motive was unclear, but Wycoff said "we're not looking at robbery being the primary motive. There's a lot more going on here than that."
"There's not this band of armed robbers running around. That's not what we're dealing with," he said.
Police were interviewing an unidentified woman but declined to say why they believed she was important to the investigation. They also towed a black Saturn that they said may be linked to the crime.
Police Chief Michael Carillo said the suspects were inside the store when at least one of them opened fire with a .380 handgun. A weapon was recovered inside the store, which was closed indefinitely.
Employees and managers at the store caught one suspect. The other was arrested about one hour after the shooting at a location south of Deming, Carillo said.
Linda Hack, 55, said she was shopping near the front of the store when she heard at least two pops.
"I didn't know they were shots," she said. But moments later, other customers told her someone was shooting. She and a horde of other customers fled toward the back of the store.
Doc Gillespie, 80, who works as a greeter, said he saw two men being apprehended by employees and thought it was "like shoplifting. That's all it was to me." He said he didn't witness or hear the shooting.
By mid-afternoon, workers milled about the parking lot and met in small groups with store managers. Some witnesses were allowed to leave.
Carillo said the store was evacuated immediately after police arrived. Officers were on the scene within minutes.
U.S. Border Patrol, customs officials, state police and Luna County sheriff's deputies were involved in the search for the third suspect. Carillo said investigators also were reviewing the store's surveillance video.
Sharon Weber, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart at company headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., confirmed that there had been a shooting in the "vestibule area" of the store.
Weber had no other information, and referred other questions to police.
Deming is about 100 miles northwest of El Paso, and about 30 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The shooting was the second outburst of violence at a Wal-Mart store in New Mexico in recent months. In August, one man was killed and another injured in an apparent domestic dispute inside a store in Albuquerque.