WHEATON, Md. -- A shooting in a crowded mall parking lot sent one person to the hospital, and police believe at least one shot was fired inside the Macy's department store.
Montgomery County police say the gunfire broke out just after 5 p.m. Tuesday at Westfield Mall in Wheaton.
Investigators believe two rival gangs were involved in an altercation that led to the shooting. Witnesses reported seeing the suspected gang members scatter. At least one suspect ran into the Macy's department store.
Police recovered two weapons from inside Macy's, and they believe at least one shot was fired inside a dressing room of the store. One of the recovered guns was reported stolen from another Maryland jurisdiction.
Approximately two to three hours after the shooting, a 19-year-old man was arrested at the mall in conjunction with the shooting. He was carrying a handgun that was also stolen from another Maryland jurisdiction, police said. Detectives believe he could be one of the shooters.
The shooter that remains at-large was described as a black male with a medium complexion, 16 to 21 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing a yellow and black jacket with a hood, tan pants, and white shoes.
Employees and customers were left unsettled by the violence.
"All I saw is police tape all over the place," one employee said. "You can't go into the dresses or handbags area, everything is blocked off. All I've been hearing is a guy got shot because there was a fight, and they went into a fitting room and stayed there for awhile," she said.
"There were a bunch of police, in plain clothes, they had some guy, he was lying on the ground and they had him surrounded, and then they had a guy pinned up against a car," shopper Mark Cohen said.
Police believe eight gang members were involved in the shooting; they say the person who was shot is expected to recover.
Police helicopters spent the evening combing the area for the six suspects who remain at large.
Police say the dangerous situation could have turned deadly with so many last-minute Christmas shoppers within feet of the shooting.