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Police recover weapon in Southcenter shooting, still searching for gunman

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TUKWILA, Wash. — Shoppers ran for the doors after a gunshot was fired inside the Southcenter Mall. Police say only one person suffered minor injuries. But they have still not identified a suspect.

“We heard a loud boom, we thought something fell or something,” says Karina Arellano, who was working at a store inside the mall when someone opened fire.

She says at first,she didn’t know what was happening.

“It was a few stores down, but we heard and we saw the people running. A few security guards came in to ask if we were OK, if we saw anything.”

Mohammed Abdelkader was just pulling into the parking lot at the time.

“You just saw cops come from everywhere,” he says. “I didn’t know it was a shooting, I just thought it was a robbery or something.”

Police say there was a fight in an open walkway, about 50 yards from the north entrance of the mall. Only one shot was fired.

“My brother saw what happened,” says Arellano. “He said it was just some teenage boys, apparently one got really mad and took out his gun.”

Investigators say one person was hurt. He was treated for superficial wounds to the hand.

He was questioned, as were three people in their late teens. But although police recovered a weapon outside the mall, they have still not determined who the shooter was. They say they will be talking to witnesses and seeing if surveillance video can help them determine who else might have been involved in the fight.

Police allowed the mall to stay open Monday night, saying no one was in any danger. But shoppers say after this, they’re not so sure.

“It’s always safe,” says Abdelkader. “I thought Seattle was a safe place, but things are changing here.”

“It’s terrifying,” Arellano adds. “Especially knowing there’s little kids around and babies. You don’t expect that when there are families here. It was pretty scary.”

Police say they do not know why the young men were fighting, or if any of them have known gang affiliations.

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