WEST VALLEY CITY -- A 14-year-old girl is in critical but stable condition after she was shot while in the parking lot at Valley Fair Mall Saturday, and police believe the incident may be gang-related.
The teen victim was taken to a hospital and is in critical but stable condition. Police initially stated she was in fair condition, but later updated her condition.
The shooting occurred in the parking lot south of the former Macy's at Valley Fair Mall, 3601 South 2700 West, just before 7:20 p.m. West Valley Police Lieutenant Robert Hamilton said. The mall itself was not involved and remained open.
But with the shots being fired in a busy area, he said the initial scene was chaos. Several witnesses called 911, two of them even running to the police department building across the street to flag down officers, Lt. Hamilton said.
"We didn't know who made the call. We didn't know if it had been inside the mall, how many victims we had or who had actually been shot," he said. "So we got an overwhelming response right away just to make sure we could contain and control this."
Hamilton said the incident took place after the victim got a call to meet the suspects in the parking lot.
The victim and two or three friends met two other people in the lot, and they got into some sort of fight. He said the victim and her friends ran, and one of the other two people fired four shots. He said the girl ran toward the mall after being hit by one of the bullets.
Lt. Hamilton said they have some information regarding a male suspect and are searching for him.
"The male suspect that we're looking for-- we don't know if he was actually the shooter or how he was involved," Lt. Hamilton said. "We just know that he was involved and we're looking to find him at this point."
He said they are not releasing any more details about that person.
Initial indications led police to believe the shooting is gang-related, Hamilton said.
A large portion of the Valley Fair Mall parking lot south and east of the former Macy's was closed off for around two hours while police searched the scene. It reopened to the public before 9:30 p.m. Saturday.