At least 7 shot, all under age 17, in mass shooting near Indianapolis mall

At least 7 shot, all under age 17, in mass shooting near Indianapolis mall

At least 7 shot, all under age 17, in mass shooting near Indianapolis mall

Seven children were injured in a shooting outside a mall in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday night, police said.

Indianapolis police officers were on patrol when they heard gunshots just after 11:30 p.m. and arrived on a block outside Circle Centre Mall. According to police, officers saw six people injured with gunshot wounds.

All of the victims were ages 12 to 17, police said.

Emergency medical services took the children to hospitals, and a seventh person, also under 18, arrived at a hospital on their own. One victim was in critical condition, and the six others were stable.

Tanya Terry, the police department's deputy chief of operations, described the shooting as "deeply concerning."

"Once again, we have a situation where young people are resolving conflict with firearms, and it has to stop," Terry said.

Terry told reporters that officers have noticed a pattern of young people leaving the mall after it closes at 7 p.m. and circulating in the nearby downtown area for hours. She said that if parents don't know where their 12-year-olds are at 11:30 p.m. before Easter, that should "be a priority."

"I think everybody sees the messages in the evening at 10 o'clock, 'Parents, do you know where your children are?'" Terry said, referring to an old public service announcement. "And we would ask for our parents to get involved in what their children are out doing, especially at these hours of the evening."

Police have made no arrests and provided no information about a potential suspect. Detectives have begun an aggravated assault investigation, police said.

It is the third shooting in three weekends in Indianapolis, according to NBC affiliate WTHR.

Last Sunday, five people, including an officer, were killed in a shooting in the east side of the city, the station reported. An officer shot and killed the suspect in that case.

And one person was killed and five other people were injured in a shooting at a bar on March 16, according to The Indianapolis Star. A suspect was arrested and charged after police were able to identify a suspect using security video from inside the bar, the newspaper reported.