2 hurt in Bakersfield mall shooting


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Bakersfield Police said they are searching for at least one person who opened fire during a fight Monday evening inside the Valley Plaza Mall that wounded two people.

Multiple police officers were called to the mall on Ming Avenue just after 6 p.m. for reports of a shooting. Deputies from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the investigation.

Multiple people called 17 News saying they locked themselves inside or were placed on lockdown inside the Valley Plaza Mall following the shooting.

Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin said the shooting escalated from a “physical altercation” between two groups of people. Officials said the two groups exchanged gunfire and they are now looking for others involved in the shooting.

One person, only described as a black male in a hooded sweatshirt, opened fire, inside the mall, Chief Martin said.

Video circulated on social media as the shooting takes place shows a chaotic scene inside, near the mall’s food court. Multiple gunshots can be heard on the video.

One of the suspects fled the scene, Martin said. No arrests have been made.

The two male victims — ages 20 and 15 — were taken to Kern Medical for their wounds that were considered non-life threatening.

Bakersfield police Lt. Brent Stratton described one of the victims Monday night as being in the “wrong place at the wrong time.”

Another of the victims was found outside the mall when officers detained four people outside a Carl’s Jr. restaurant. Police are trying to determine that person’s role in the shooting.

Police Chief Martin said the ages for the people in the groups involved in the altercation were in their late teens to their early 20s.

Chief Martin stressed that the shooting was not being considered as an “active shooter” situation like others across the country.

The Valley Plaza Mall is expected to open at regular hours on Tuesday.

Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call Bakersfield police at 327-7111.

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