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Several Shot in Phoenix Suburb Shooting Spree; Suspect at Large

TERRY TANG and PAUL DAVENPORT, Associated Press

 

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — A gunman wounded at least four people across multiple locations in a Phoenix suburb Wednesday, and police warned residents to stay indoors as they hunt for the suspect.

Mesa Detective Esteban Flores says victims were injured Wednesday morning in shootings at several locations, including a restaurant and a motel. He said the number of victims is four, but they are still sorting out the toll.

"We could have more at this time," Flores said. "We just don't know."

 

Mesa police talk to eyewitness at the scene of a shooting, Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in Mesa, Ariz. A gunman wounded at least four people across multiple locations in the Phoenix suburb and police warned residents to stay indoors as they hunt for the suspect. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Nick Oza)

Flores says police are looking for a bald, white man in his 40s with a large tattoo on his neck. He was last seen wearing a gray shirt and either black pants or black shorts. Police believe the shooter was acting alone.

Flores said people in the area should remain indoors and call 911 if they see someone suspicious. When asked whether local residents should be worried about the shooter, Flores said, "Absolutely, they should be really concerned."

Several locations in the area were placed on lockdown amid a heavy law enforcement presence, including police searching car trunks and interviewing witnesses. The Arizona Department of Public Safety sent its SWAT team to Mesa to assist with the effort, DPS spokesman Bart Graves said. Scottsdale police are also sending SWAT and canine units.

One victim was wounded at a restaurant and ran across the street to get treated by ambulance crews that were already at the motel. Flores said one of the victims had wounds described as life-threatening. He said no information is available on the other injured people.

The shootings occurred near the East Valley Institute of Technology. Nearby Mesa Community College issued an emergency alert, saying its campus was on lockdown and anyone already there should proceed to the safest location. The shooting scene is also near a light rail line that travels through the metro Phoenix area.

"Right now, our hearts and prayers are with the people of Mesa, the individuals affected by this tragedy, and all law enforcement and first responders working to assist the victims," Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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