By LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Five people have been charged in a gang-related shooting at a Utah mall that sent hundreds of shoppers fleeing for the exits, but police said Wednesday they are still searching for a teen suspect accused of shooting two people.
A 17-year-old suspect was encouraged to shoot by a fellow gang member, and another helped him elude authorities by sending him money, prosecutors said.
The fight started after rival gang members crossed paths Jan. 13 inside a sporting goods store at the Fashion Place Mall in Salt Lake City, authorities said. The two groups agreed to go outside and fight, and the shooting started shortly after, charging documents said.
The shots set off panic as shoppers and workers fled the building or took shelter inside. No bystanders were injured.
Police say the two people who were shot were gang members. A woman has since been released from the hospital and a man was last reported to be hospitalized in serious but stable condition, Murray Police Officer Kenny Bass said.
The man accused of sending money, Flaviano Aguilar, 20, has been charged with obstructing justice and riot. No attorney or publicly listed number was immediately available for him.
A firearm-discharge charge was filed against Steven Perez-Hernandez, 18, who police say encouraged the teenager to shoot. He’s also been charged with riot and two counts of obstructing justice.
No lawyer was listed for him in court records Wednesday, and no publicly listed phone number was immediately available.
Prosecutors filed riot charges against three other people, including the two men first arrested in the case, Jorge Crecencio-Gonzalez and Jesus J. Payan-Mendoza, both 19. Crecencio-Gonzalez is also facing an obstruction of justice charge. No attorneys have been listed for either man.
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