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At least 7 wounded, all under age 17, in mass shooting near Indianapolis mall

Police have not yet identified a suspect. One of the children, hospitalized in critical condition, was said to be stable Monday.
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Seven children were injured in a shooting outside a mall in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday night, police said, with most suffering non-life-threatening injuries.

The victims are ages 12 to 16, police said, correcting an earlier statement that one is 17. One of the girls is 16 and the other three are 14, police said; two boys are 16 and one is 12, they said.

A victim hospitalized in critical condition overnight was said to be stable, according to police.

The other children had non-life-threatening injuries, with three released from the city’s Riley Hospital for Children on Monday, a spokesperson for the hospital said. Two remained hospitalized.

Police Chief Christopher Bailey said during a news conference Monday that the shooting was not a sudden act of rage. "It wasn't a random type of thing," he said.

"There was an ongoing beef and they brought that beef downtown. Earlier in that day, we believe, is when that planning took place for this event to happen," he added.

Indianapolis police officers were on patrol Saturday when they heard gunshots just after 11:30 p.m. and arrived on a block outside Circle Centre Mall. According to police, officers saw a half-dozen or so people with injuries.

Emergency medical services took the children to hospitals, and a seventh person, also under 17, arrived at a hospital on their own, police said.

The department said that more than one firearm may have been used and that detectives believe there may have been more than one shooter involved in the attack.

Two children apprehended in the aftermath of the violence were arrested based on a police allegation of resisting law enforcement, the Indianapolis department said in a statement Monday.

"I have no information to support or confirm" that the two had anything to do with the gunfire, said Officer Amanda Hibschman, a spokesperson for the department.

Police said they were not ready to identify possible suspects, but they said there are leads in the case. Investigators have been viewing security camera footage, and they have submitted multiple applications for search warrants.

Police on the scene after a shooting outside Circle Centre Mall in Indianapolis
Police on the scene after a shooting outside Circle Centre Mall in Indianapolis on Saturday.WTHR

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s elite team of aggravated assault detectives was probing the violence, police said.

Tanya Terry, the department’s deputy chief of operations, described the shooting as “deeply concerning.”

“Once again, we have a situation where young people are resolving conflict with firearms, and it has to stop,” Terry said.

Terry told reporters that officers have noticed a pattern of young people leaving the mall after it closes at 7 p.m. and circulating in the nearby downtown area for hours. She said that if parents don’t know where their 12-year-olds are at 11:30 p.m. before Easter, that should “be a priority.”

"I think everybody sees the messages in the evening at 10 o'clock, 'Parents, do you know where your children are?'" Terry said, referring to an old public service announcement. "And we would ask for our parents to get involved in what their children are out doing, especially at these hours of the evening."

Under state and local laws, children 15 to 17 can be out until 11 p.m. on Sunday nights. Those younger than 15 are generally prohibited from being on streets after 11 p.m. But police have said they don't have the resources to enforce the curfew.

The shooting was the third in three weekends in Indianapolis, according to NBC News affiliate WTHR.

Last Sunday, five people, including an officer, were injured in a shooting in the east side of the city, the station reported. An officer shot and killed the suspect in that case.

One person was killed and five others were injured in a shooting at a bar on March 16, according to The Indianapolis Star. A suspect was arrested and charged after police were able to identify a suspect using security video from inside the bar, the newspaper reported.

In February, an altercation between two groups of diners at an Indianapolis Waffle House may have precipitated gunfire that killed one person and injured five others, authorities said.

CORRECTION (April 1, 2024, 10:41 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the conditions of the five people shot on March 24. They were injured, not killed.