A shooting at a strip mall early Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona, left a 14-year-old girl dead and eight others injured, with two being treated for life-threatening injuries, according to Phoenix police.
Injuries sustained by others, including a teenage boy, are not life-threatening and they were all transported to local hospitals.
The shooting happened sometime after midnight in the northwest of downtown Phoenix after an altercation between multiple parties escalated into a violent confrontation. Victims were all aged between 17 and 24.
“I heard over a hundred gunshots going off. I heard people doing burnouts and doing donuts in the street for probably a good hour and a half prior to gunshots going off,” said an unnamed woman to ABC15 News.
Authorities are attempting to piece together eyewitness accounts. No suspects have been immediately identified and no arrests have been made yet.
Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Andy Williams said during a news conference that a fight started in a “large gathering” of around 100 people which then escalated. The 1 a.m. shooting happened inside the mall premises as well in the parking lot and the roadway, sending people running near 10th Avenue and Hatcher Road.
“Many rounds were shot into this crowd of people as everyone fled the area,” Williams said.
“There were some little girls that ran over there asking if they could hide. The police came just in time, so it was like, they’re there, everything’s ok. And they got up and went in the opposite direction,” said Theresa Juan, who lives nearby, according to Arizona’s Family digital news.
“In that little strip mall, there’s some little recording studio or something. That’s where the parties were happening at. The prior two times they had parties, they had shootings also,” Chad Martinez, who also lives nearby, told the media outlet.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said on Twitter in response to the latest shooting: “Seems we can’t go a day without another mass shooting. This time, it’s Phoenix, at 10th Avenue & Hatcher. Time has run out. Change must happen now.”
Besides the mall incident, there were two other shootings in Phoenix around the same time. In both shootings, two separate victims were shot and pronounced dead—one, a teenage boy near 13th and Vogel avenues, and the other, a man in a vehicle near 39th and Grand avenues. It is not clear whether the deadly incidents were related.
The latest Phoenix episode follows the Uvalde elementary school massacre of 19 students and two teachers.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Phoenix Police Department or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.