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Vegas police arrest 18-year-old in mall shooting that hurt 3

Las Vegas Metro Police officers head into the Fashion Show Mall on the Las Vegas Strip after a shooting at the mall in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
Las Vegas Metro Police officers head into the Fashion Show Mall on the Las Vegas Strip after a shooting at the mall in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An 18-year-old was arrested Wednesday on attempted murder charges, a day after a shooting triggered by a gang dispute wounded three people, sent shoppers scrambling and drew a massive police response to an upscale Las Vegas Strip mall, authorities said.

Christopher Valenzuela-Olivas was identified as the shooter who fled after the Tuesday evening gunfire at the Fashion Show Mall, Officer Larry Hadfield said.

The wounded men, ranging from 16 to 78, were treated at a hospital for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening and released, Hadfield said. Their names were not made public.

The police spokesman did not immediately say how investigators determined Valenzuela-Olivas was involved. He said the shooting appeared to be gang-related and the police gang unit was handling the case.

Valenzuela-Olivas was expected to have an attorney appointed for his defense at his first court appearance, possibly Thursday.

Police said Valenzuela-Olivas and an acquaintance who was still being sought for questioning got into an argument with another person near a mall exit before Valenzuela-Olivas pulled a handgun and fired several shots.

Some shoppers ran from the mall in the heart of the glitzy casino-resort district. Others dashed into stores and sheltered with employees in back rooms until police and mall security officials determined the shooting was an isolated incident and there was no further threat.

Spa employee Juston Thompson said the panic reminded him of the 2017 massacre at an open-air country music festival in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured hundreds of others.

“I just stopped,” Thompson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I got so scared and nervous.”

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