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Police: Bystander shot 16-year-old accused of fatally shooting teen at El Paso mall

Police officers gather at an entrance of a shopping mall, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Andrés Leighton)
Police officers gather at an entrance of a shopping mall, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Andrés Leighton)
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An El Paso man with a license-to-carry shot and injured a 16-year-old boy shortly after the teen used a stolen gun to kill a 17-year-old boy inside the Cielo Vista Mall Wednesday, El Paso police confirmed Friday.

The victim, Angeles Zaragoza, was part of one group involved in a confrontation with another group near the food court area on the second level.

Police said the confrontation began around 5:05 p.m. – when they began to receieve 911 calls – and escalated into a physical fight.

As the groups fought, the 16-year-old boy from El Paso County pulled out a gun, shot Zaragoza and seriously wounded a 17-year-old boy who was part of the first group, according to police.

It is always concerning when a 16-year-old has a stolen handgun and fires a weapon inside of a crowded mall. It's very concerning, it’s very disturbing actually," El Paso police Sgt. Robert Gomez said.

Police said a 20-year-old man, who was part of the group the accused shooter belonged to, was also shot and injured.

The 16-year-old boy began to run and reportedly pointed the gun toward the direction of bystanders and 32-year-old Emanuel Duran.

Police said Duran, who is licensed to carry, pulled out his handgun and shot the teen at least two times because he felt "threatened."

Video from inside the mall showed people running as gunshots rang out.

**WARNING. This video contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised**

**WARNING. This video contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised**

An off-duty El Paso police officer arrived at the area of the shooting, and together with the Good Samaritan, provided aid to the 16-year-old suspect and the others that were injured.

"An off-duty officer called down on the radio that a subject was in custody," Gomez said.

Investigators found that there were at least two other people in the area that were legally armed. Police said they were not involved.

A 17-year-old girl, a 16-year-old boy, a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl were also a part of the first group involved. Police said a 17-year boy and a 15-year-old boy were also members of the second group.

"Violent crime is concerning no matter what age group, the fact that they are teenagers is very disturbing," Gomez said.

Police said they are continuing to investigate and that charges are pending against the 16-year old accused shooter.

One person is dead so the likely charge will be murder, it's not official but that would be the appropriate charge. And the other suspects that were injured by gunfire, the appropriate charge would be aggravated assault, but again, until they are officially charged he is just a suspect," said Gomez.

The 16-year-old boy was taken to the hospital and was last listed in stable condition.

University Medical Center confirmed two males who were injured in the shooting are in critical condition but are stable.

One victim was also taken to Del Sol Medical Center and is listed in good condition.

Police said Duran was not injured and is cooperating with the investigation.

It is unclear how the fight started or if the two groups knew each other.

"As far as relationships, other than two groups not agreeing with each other, that's all we have," Gomez said.

All of the individuals involved are from El Paso except the 20-year-old victim who police said is from Clint.

The mall reopened to the public Friday at 10 a.m.

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