2 killed, 1 injured in crowded Arizona mall restaurant

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TUCSON, Ariz. — A shooting at a crowded Arizona restaurant left two men dead in an altercation Friday night involving three people who knew one another, authorities said.

The shooting was contained to the Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant inside the La Encantada mall in Tucson, said Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Cody Gress.

One woman was injured with a gunshot to the leg and is being treated at a local hospital, Gress said.

“All three individuals were known to each other, but the specifics of the relationship are unknown,” he said.

Authorities said it’s unclear how the situation escalated into a shooting.

Witness accounts

“It looked like two gentlemen were fighting, it was hard to tell,” Laura Harder told KGUN-TV in Tucson. “I saw a gun come out and he just shot him in the head right in front of us.”

Harder said the restaurant was full when she noticed something was happening at a nearby table. After the shooting, she saw how the gunman grabbed the other man’s companion by the arm and pushed her down a hallway.

Harder heard two more gunshots while crawling on the ground for an exit.

“I assumed he had shot her,” she said.

As gunshots erupted, patrons began screaming and running out of the restaurant.

Toni Esquibel was celebrating her daughter’s 13th birthday with family and friends. They had just been served their meals when the commotion began and they took cover under their table.

“There were probably about 10 shots. It was pretty harrowing. Pretty harrowing, not fun for young girls to have to go through that kind of experience,” Esquibel told KOLD-TV in Tucson.

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