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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

December 26, 2010 at 9:51 PM

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6 youths held in shooting at Southcenter mall; no one injured

Posted by Sara Jean Green

Tukwila police detained six juveniles allegedly involved in a gang-related shooting at Southcenter mall on Sunday afternoon, including a 15-year-old boy armed with a handgun. No one was hit by gunfire.

Around 5:30 p.m., mall security officers saw a group of eight to 10 teenagers congregating in the parking lot. Thinking that a fight was brewing, they attempted to break up the group, said Tukwila police spokesman Mike Murphy. Some members of the group claimed to be gang members and tried to intimidate the security officers, who backed off and called for Tukwila officers who were working off-duty at the mall, Murphy said.

As the Tukwila police officers arrived in the mall's northwest parking lot, the group scattered and shots were fired, though they weren't directed at police, Murphy said. Officers from Renton, Des Moines and Kent responded to a request for aid and helped the Tukwila officers detain six juveniles, he said. Two loaded handguns were also found on the ground in the parking lot, according to Murphy.

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