By Adam Sege
11:29 PM EST, November 10, 2012
A gunshot fired in a crowded Indiana mall this evening sent shoppers scrambling but left no one injured, authorities said.
The shot was fired into a lower level ceiling of the Westfield Southlake Mall in Merrillville, Ind. during a fight between several juveniles, said Detective Sgt. Jeremy Ogden of the nearby Hobart Police Department.
Tensions between the juveniles were still heated from a dispute during a basketball game earlier in the day, Ogden said.
After the shot rang out shortly after 6 p.m., the mall fell silent, said Laquita Young, a 29-year-old banker from Hammond, Ind.
On the upper level, where Young was leaving a store with her boyfriend and two children, people peered over railings toward the mall's carousel.
Someone yelled that they saw gun, and everyone ran, Young said. Along with her children and boyfriend, she hustled into the store's back room and waited with customers and employees.
"We really were shaken because we really had no clue how many were involved or anything like that," Young said,
They left about 15 minutes later, as security guards evacuated the mall.
Police arrested three juveniles and believe one or two others may have been involved, Ogden said.
Ogden said the episode was out of character for the area, and he praised the swift actions of the officers who responded.
"They had the place covered very quickly," he said. "It all worked out real good."