Arlington police say an argument at the food court at the Parks Mall led to a fight and then a shooting Wednesday night.
The shooting happened around 6:40 p.m. on the walkway between the mall and the mall parking garage, according to Arlington police.
Witnesses tell FOX 4 that during the fight one of the suspects lifted up his shirt and showed off more than one gun.
Police say 19-year-old Darryl Eugene Patterson shot an 18-year-old victim 2-3 times in the leg but is expected to survive.
The shooting victim underwent surgery on Thursday to remove a bullet from his leg. He said he was at the Parks Mall with his pregnant wife and his mother-in-law when the disturbing events unfolded.
The mother-in-law said the violence began when the suspect and another man with him were making inappropriate comments while referring to her daughter. She says her son-in-law jumped in to defend her.
“They were making nasty comments about my daughter and my son-in-law,” she said. “Told him don't be talking to my wife like that, respect her and stuff like that. They went up to him like they were going to hit him. So he hit them first to protect himself. "
Witnesses who saw Patterson and two others running across the street also called the police. They said a young man tried to throw a gun onto the roof of Car Toys across from the mall.
“I turned around and I see people running, like running and screaming and childs crying and I was like no!” a witness said. “I look around and I see my sister running, so I ran with her.”
“What really concerned me is they opened fire with families walking in,” another witness said. “And these guys were in their late teens, early 20s. It’s a shame.”
About that time Arlington Police say the suspects called for an Uber Driver.
“As the Uber driver leaves eastbound on Arbrook Boulevard, responding units see the vehicle that was being relayed to us by citizens,” explained Arlington Police Lt. Chris Cook. “We were able to get a traffic stop on the vehicle there at Arbrook and High Point. Obviously, the Uber driver not knowing what’s going on, he immediately pulled over. We did a high-risk traffic stop. We detained three individuals that were in that vehicle.”
The Uber driver was shortly detained but later released.
Investigators thanked the mall patrons who were very aware of their surroundings and called police with information.
“This is a classic case of people being nosey and seeing something that they knew was out of the ordinary – somebody trying to throw a firearm on the top of a business even though they didn’t know a shooting had just occurred,” said Cook.
Patterson is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on a $50,000 bond.
Patterson's friends were also detained but were later released.
Authorities immediately secured the scene after the shooting. The mall was never evacuated.