3 Teens in Police Custody After NW Indiana Mall Shooting

Hobart Police are searching for a fourth suspect involved in the shooting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hobart police have three teens in custody after a gun was fired inside Westfield Southlake Mall in Merrillville, Ind. Michelle Relerford reports from the scene for NBC News at 10 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2012. (Published Saturday, Nov 10, 2012)

    Hobart Police continue to look for a fourth teenager involved in a shooting that caused the evacuation of a Northwest Indiana mall.

    "I saw a whole bunch of police and a boy coming out of Macy's and he just stopped because he knew he was caught," said Lashonda Mullins, who was inside Westfield Southlake Mall on Saturday evening when the shooting happened.

    Police told NBC 5 the suspects began arguing with a teen and then attacked him. The victim was beaten up and one of the suspects fired a gun near a merry-go-round, police said. Only one shot was fired and the bullet was lodged into the ceiling. No one was injured, but it could have been worse if the gun had not jammed, according to Hobart Police Chief Jeff White.

    "Obviously they have no clue what could've happened in a mall this busy and crowded," said Hobart Police Chief Jeff White. "They were right next to a merry-go-round, next to kids with parents, children."

    Three off-duty officers working security inside the mall heard the shot and ran towards the sound. The suspects began running, but people in the mall were pointing them out to the officers chasing them.

    After the teens were arrested, one person snapped a photo of them in handcuffs on the ground before the mall went on lockdown.

    "Over the intercom they told everybody to evacuate the building, it was an emergency," said witness Dana Carlassara.

    Shortly after, the Lake County Mobile Crime Lab, Hobart Police and other departments arrived on the scene, Northwest Indiana Times reported.

    Police said the teenagers in custody are ages 14, 15 and 16-years-old. Police continue to search for a fourth suspect they believe to be the brother of one of the boys.

    The mall will remain closed for the rest of Saturday, but reopened Sunday. Police said they plan to take extra precautions.

    "I can tell you this, we're not going to allow it," said White. "We will have a heavy presence here from this point all the way through the holidays."