A 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg and his 16-year-old friend was grazed on the leg. Both are expected to be okay, CBS2's Ali Bauman reported.
Joceyln Valencia, who is 9 years old, was shopping for shoes with her mom in the mall when at least 10 shots rang out inside the sneaker store.
She said she saw a teenage boy screaming for help.
"I think they were very hurt," she said.
Police said the violence started after a group of six teenage boys walked into the store and got into an argument with a group of three teenagers, and then one of them pulled out a gun.
"It sounded [like] so many shots you would think someone got killed. It was so loud. I just dropped everything and ran," mall employee Frank Campbell said.
Campbell said he heard the gunshots echo down inside the mall. Police said the shooting happened at around 2:30 p.m.
"During the course of the dispute, one of the three males standing by the store's cash register pulled out a gun and fired several rounds toward the group of six males, striking the 14-year-old male and 16-year-old male," NYPD Assistant Chief Michael Kemper said.
Both groups ran out of the mall in different directions. When police arrived, they put out descriptions for the suspects over the radio.
"They spoke to witnesses, they reviewed video, and by doing so it allowed them to obtain a physical description of what they looked like and were wearing," Kemper said.
Police arrested three suspects on foot several blocks away and recovered two guns. Investigators said one of the suspects is 19 and was arrested two months ago in Brooklyn and found to be in possession of four firearms. Another suspect, also 19, is awaiting sentencing for a 2019 shooting.
"It's very sad. I'm 19-20, so to hear someone a little younger than me get shot at, it's sad," mall employee Jay Thomas told CBS2's Kevin Rincon.
As police swarmed the mall, shoppers were evacuated. Many stood outside waiting to go back in to get their belongings. A SWAT team was part of the response.
"I heard loud booms. I'm from Brooklyn so you hear shots all the time. So I know what a shot is," shopper Jah Hills said.
"Anyone in this hallway right here would have thought it was happening right next to them and it was very, very scary," Campbell said.
The charges are pending for those three suspects. Police said it appears the two groups of teenagers knew each other before this encounter, but a motive is unclear.
CBS2's Kevin Rincon contributed to this report. This story first appeared on Jan. 31
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