An eyewitness said, ‘One of them started shooting inside the mall and the whole mall started to disintegrate.’
At least one person was shot and seven others have been taken into custody in a shootout Wednesday outside a shopping mall in the Atlanta area.
The shooting occurred around 2:30 p.m. at Southlake Mall in Morro, Ga., amid an argument between two groups inside a shopping center that was owned by Granthshala. vaga-tv Reported. Police said the firing took place in the parking lot of the mall and several vehicles were damaged apart from the victim.
“We believe there may have been a verbal brawl inside the mall that moved to the exterior of the mall and then several groups of shooters were firing back and forth,” Morrow Police Detective Sgt. Eli Skelton told the news outlet.
The 28-year-old man suffered a thigh injury. He is expected to be fine. Skelton said three people were treated at the scene for anxiety attacks and released. Granthshala News has reached out to Skelton but has not heard back.
Investigators found at least 25 bullet shells from the scene.
Officers from the Clayton County and Morro Police Departments responded to the mall. Clayton County Police told Granthshala News it was assisting Morrow Police and referred all questions about the shooting to that agency.
A witness described the scene to the news outlet.
“Like 15 little kids, they started running, like I think they were meeting at the mall or came to shoot,” the witness said. “One of them started shooting inside the mall and the entire mall just started to disperse. We started running back to the shop for safety.”
Skelton credits the police response for being able to quickly secure the scene.
“This is not a frequent occurrence in Morro city, but we were able to get here quickly to control the situation, thus we detained many people,” he said.