2 shot during brawl at California mall

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET/CNN) - A merry scene at California’s Valley Plaza Mall suddenly became filled with fear and panic Tuesday night.

Police say a fight escalated quickly and ended with two people shot and parts of the mall locked down. (Source: KGET/CNN)

Dispatchers told Bakersfield police that several callers reported shooting inside the mall, with anywhere from five to 15 shots heard.

Police locked all doors of the mall, kicking people out – or in many cases, locking them in.

“It is not lost on me that this is the holiday season. This is when most of the people come out,” Chief Lyle Martin said.

It started with a fight between two groups of young men, brawling between the Chipotle and H&M store, according to police.

One of the men opened fire, then fled in an unknown direction, authorities said.

"The suspect did flee the mall, so the mall is secure," Martin explained.

Police found a wounded 15-year-old and a 20-year-old at the scene. Investigators said one of those two victims was an unintended target.

Paramedics took them to a hospital with non-life-threatening wounds.

Police wanted to reassure the public that this was not a premeditated mass shooting incident.

"This was not an active shooter or one of those types of incidents that we've seen across the country,” Martin stressed. “This is a fight amongst two groups."

While police took people into custody for questioning, the suspect remains at large.

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