MURRAY — Sunday's shooting outside Fashion Place mall involved two groups of rival gang members, Murray police confirmed Monday.
Investigators working through the night arrested two people believed to have been involved in the shooting, which prompted the evacuation of the mall.
Jorge Luis Crecencio-Gonzalez, 19, of Park City, and Jesus Joshua "Psycho" Payan-Mendoza, also 19, of Heber City, were each arrested for investigation of two counts of attempted aggravated murder and two counts of discharge of a firearm.
Both are members of the Florencia 13 gang, according to a police report.
About a dozen people were involved in the confrontation — five in one group that included the two victims, and between five and seven in the other, said Murray police officer Kenny Bass.
"Everybody involved in the shooting was a member of one or the other gang. There were no bystanders that were struck,” he said.
Investigators believe rival gang members ran into each other inside the mall, which turned into a verbal confrontation. "It’s difficult to say whether it was chance or not. It appears from the initial information that it was,” Bass said.
The argument continued as the groups exited the mall. That's when one person "turned and fired" at the other group, he said.
The shots were fired just before 1:30 p.m. Bass said at least one person from each group exchanged gunshots. At least one car in the mall parking lot was also hit.
One group then sped away in a vehicle driven by Crecencio-Gonzalez, the report states.
A man and a woman, both in their 20s, were injured. The woman was treated at Intermountain Medical Center and was later released. The man remained at the hospital Monday in critical condition. Cellphone video recorded by bystanders on Sunday shows both victims appear to have suffered gunshot wounds to their legs.
Detectives continued to look for additional suspects Monday.
Bass also noted that the fire alarm that went off inside the mall about the same time was accidental. The alarm had been malfunctioning for several days and actually went off prior to the shooting, he said.10 comments on this story
Police say they have not seen any recent increase in gang activity in Murray and that the confrontation Sunday just happened to occur in a very public place.
Bass praised law enforcement for the response on Sunday when officers initially believed there was an active shooter situation inside the mall. Officers from every agency in the Salt Lake Valley responded, he said, as well as federal agents.
"I think they handled it extremely well. It was extremely fast … how quick they jumped in and tried to assist in the investigation," he said.