1 injured, 7 arrested after shootout at Southlake Mall, police say

A large group fighting outside of a metro Atlanta area mall led to gunfire on Thursday afternoon, police said. One man was injured in the shootout.

The Morrow Police Department said more than 20 shots were fired outside Southlake Mall leading to one person being injured. The victim was only identified by police as being a 28-year-old man. He was taken to an area hospital suffering a gunshot wound to the inner thigh, police said. The man is expected to recover.

Three bystanders were treated for anxiety attacks following the shooting, police said.

Morrow Police Detective Sgt. W.E. Skelton said an argument started in the mall which spilled outside and led to shots being fired.

"We believe there may have been a verbal altercation inside the mall that migrated to the exterior of the mall and then there were multiple groups of shooters firing back and forth," Sgt. Skelton said.

"Like 15 younger kids, they just started running, like I guess they were meeting up at the mall to come shot or come fight," said Nelida Smith. "One of them just starting shooting inside the mall and the whole mall just started to disperse. We started running back into the store to get to safety."

The call came in as shots being fired and not an active shooter, police said.

Officers took seven people in custody following the incident, police said. Their names and charges have not been released.

"This is not a frequent occurrence in the city of Morrow, but we were able to get here quickly to control the situation, that's how we ended up with so many people detained," Sgt. Skelton said.

SKYFOX 5 over Southlake Mall in Morrow the afternoon of June 10, 2021. (FOX 5)

SKYFOX 5 flew over the mall around 3:30 p.m. saw a white vehicle with a broken-out back windshield in the lot.

Several vehicles were also damaged in the shootout. Police spent the afternoon locating the owners.

Morrow is located about 12 miles south-southeast of Atlanta.

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