Two mall shootings, one in Phoenix, and another in North Charleston, South Carolina, left at least one person dead and four others injured on Valentine’s Day, authorities said.
In Phoenix, police responded to reports of a shooting about 12:40 p.m. at a retail kiosk inside Desert Sky Mall, said police spokesperson Sgt. Andy Williams, and found two men with gunshot wounds.
A preliminary investigation indicated an argument had occurred between a customer and a kiosk employee before the shooting, Williams said. Both men armed themselves and exchanged gunfire, he said.
The two men were taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, Williams said, and a young man, possibly a juvenile, later died.Police were not yet sure of his role in the shooting.
Jairo Dinar told The Arizona Republic of the USA TODAY Network that he was shopping with his parents at the time of the shooting.
“We hear a couple of shots … I hear glass shatter and everyone’s just running around pushing each other to make a scene out of it, but I’m not really sure what was going on. My first fear was just to get out of there you know help as many people as we can,” Dinar said.
Geno Montana said he heard an argument in an area where jewelry was being sold before the shooting.
“It was an altercation. I was really trying to buy some gifts and focus on that so I can get out of here. And once I heard that first gun shoot off, I knew what time it was,” Montana said. “I was like, ‘I gotta get out of here.'”
An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
In South Carolina, authorities are searching for a gunman accused of wounding three people inside Northwoods Mall.
The North Charleston Police Department responded just before 1:30 p.m. on reports of a shooting in a common area, Lt. Matt Hughes said. After evacuating the mall, they found three victims with gunshot wounds.
Two of the victims had minor, non-life threatening injuries, while a third was in serious condition, said Hughes.
Investigators said they were working to identify and locate a person of interest captured in mall security video.