At least five people, including a small child, were injured Wednesday during a shooting at a Phoenix-area shopping mall and businesses were to lock down, authorities said.
The Glendale Police Department tweeted around 3 p.m. local time that a shooting had occurred at the Tanger Outlets shopping center near the Westgate Entertainment District. The shooting stemmed from a physical dispute between two groups of people in the center of the outlet mall, Glendale Police Officer Tiffany Ngalula told reporters.
One victim has potentially life-threatening injuries, she said.
A young adult man who was at the mall with an adult woman and a child got into an argument with a group of young men he knew, the Glendale Police Department told Fox News Digital in a statement late Wednesday. The man and at least one of the men in the other group were armed and started shooting at each other.
The young adult man, the woman and the child were all taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds, the statement said. Two juvenile boys from the other group were also hospitalized and all of them appear to be in stable condition.
"We are still investigating what occurred between the two parties that led to the shooting," the department added.
Multiple agencies have responded to the scene.
"We're still sorting how many victims, how many potential shooters there were," Ngalula said. "We have to talk to each individual, and there are hundreds of people here, before we can identify if they were a potential victim."
She stressed that the incident was not an active shooting situation. Authorities did not have ages for the victims but said "they all seem to be very young."
Investigators did not say how many rounds were fired.
Authorities said a primary search had been completed and secondary searches were underway. No suspects were believed to be outstanding, police said.
Businesses and nearby hotels were asked to remain in lockdown while authorities complete their search.
Those with loved ones at the mall were being asked to go to State Farm Stadium orange parking lot to reunite with them.
"As detectives are to able identify and talk to each of the individuals that are over in the parking lot, and again that's hundreds of people, they try to identify… if they were a victim, if they were a witness or if they were just a shopper and told to lock down," Ngalula said. "The less involved they were, the more likely they are to get out of here sooner."
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, said his office was working with local law enforcement to monitor the situation.
"Our prayers are with those impacted and the brave law enforcement professionals responding to this emergency," he tweeted.
The area has been the scene of shootings in the past, Fox affiliate KSAZ-TV reported. Three people were hurt in May 2020 when a gunman who said he had been bullied and wanted to gain respect opened fire. Months later in December, two people got into a fight and a 21-year-old pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Another person started shooting and a 32-year-old man inside a car opened fire on the original shooter, who was injured but returned fire and hit the alleged assailant.