Police officers who responded to a shooting at a Phoenix-area shopping mall in which four people were injured saved the life of a wounded 4-year-old boy, authorities said Thursday.
The gunfire at the Tanger Outlets mall in Glendale occurred around 2:40 p.m. after a fight between two groups of people, Glendale Police Officer Tiffany Ngalula said.
When the first officer arrived at the scene, he was flagged down by witnesses and told a boy had been shot.
"That officer immediately rendered first aid life-saving treatment to that 4-year-old boy," Ngalula said. "At the same time, he began giving out suspect descriptions of possible shooters and safe routes in for other officers."
Responding paramedics took over the treatment of the boy and took him, his 27-year-old mother and a 17-year-old boy – all shot as they were shopping together – to a hospital.
The unidentified teen, described as the "primary aggressor," was armed with a handgun and was involved in a dispute with two boys, ages 15 and 16, before shots rang out. The 17-year-old opened fire and 15-year-old shot back, striking his rival, the young boy and his mother, police said.
The 16-year-old was not injured. No other suspects were being sought. The 17-year-old and 15-year-old knew each other, police said.
The injured mother and teens were in stable condition as of Thursday. The small boy was listed in critical condition, Ngalula said.
Authorities evacuated the mall and conducted two searches of businesses and the area. Ngalula said there was no evidence to suggest the shooting was gang-related.
She did not say what kind of charges, if any, could be filed against the 17-year-old. As of Thursday, no arrests have been made, she said.