Shots fired at Hobart mall; suspect sought, 3 in custody
By Carrie Napoleon Sun-Times Media Correspondent November 10, 2012 8:36PM
With suspects handcuffed on the ground Saturday, police investigate a shooting at Westfield Southlake Mall in Hobart, Ind. | Photo posted on Facebook
Updated: December 12, 2012 6:53AM
HOBART, Ind. — Three teenagers were in police custody and authorities were looking for a fourth suspect late Saturday after a shot was fired at Westfield Southlake Mall .
No one was injured when a teenager fired a gun at 6:30 p.m. in an altercation between two groups of youths in the open central area of the mall on the ground-floor level near a merry-go-round, Hobart Police Chief Jeff White said.
The mall was evacuated and placed on lockdown.
“One of the teens pulled out a weapon and fired a shot,” White said.
Then the weapon malfunctioned, and no more shots were fired, he said.
The bullet, a large-caliber .762 from a Russian-made handgun, lodged under the overhead walkway near the Gloria Jean’s Coffee Bean, White said.
Three teens, ages 14, 15 and 16, were arrested.
White described the teens as the “aggressors.”
A weapon was recovered.
White said police think the 16-year-old fired the shot.Police think the fourth teen, whom they were looking for Saturday night, is a brother of one of the teens already in custody.
Eric Pittman, of Hobart, who works at White Cloud Cigarettes at the mall, saw the group of teens playing around and then fighting. When a mall employee tried to break up the fight, it appeared that one of the youths fired into the air, he said.
“People were running,” Pittman said.
Terry Postma was waiting in the parking lot outside Macy’s for his wife, Debbie, a store clerk. Postma said he had spoken to his wife by phone five times since the shooting.
“She’s a little shook up,” Postma said.
Businesses in the mall planned to reopen Sunday on their regular schedule.