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Gang-related drug deal led to West End mall shooting, police say


The shooting happened about 3 p.m. Friday 

The victims identities have not been released. 

What started as a drug deal soon turned deadly after two rival gangs alleged argued inside a mall in southwest Atlanta, police said. 

It started about 3 p.m. Friday when police said the alleged gang members were inside the West End mall arguing over a substance in a bag, Atlanta police Sgt. Warren Pickard said. 

They then left the mall as someone in a white SUV began firing shots, police said. 

The groups exchanged gunfire injuring three people, including a man who was shot in the head. 

The victims, two men and one woman, were take to Grady Memorial Hospital. 

The shooting was a targeted attack between alleged gang members, Pickard said. Police are searching for a white SUV seen leaving the area. 

Police have not released the identities of the victims. 

No other details were released. 

Here’s a minute-by-minute account of the shooting: 

6:16 p.m.: Police are searching for the car of one of the suspected shooters. 

5:37 p.m. Atlanta police are clearing the scene and roads are reopening, Channel 2 Action News reported. Police are working to obtain surveillance footage of the shooting. 

5:35 p.m: Witnesses told police two rival gang members were inside the mall during an alleged drug deal gone bad, Sgt. Warren Pickard said. Police said the purported gang members argued over a substance inside a bag, then exited the mall as someone in a white SUV began firing shots. Gunfire was exchanged and three people were hit. According to police, this was a targeted attack between alleged gang members. 

RELATED: Rival gangs exchange gunfire, injuring 3 outside West End mall

5:31 p.m. Police believe a gang-related drug deal gone bad inside West End mall led to the shooting.

5:18 p.m.: Atlanta police have confirmed that a man was shot in the leg and a woman was grazed in the arm by a bullet. The third man is confirmed shot in the head, but police do not know the condition of the victims. 

5:08 p.m. Two men and one woman were taken to the hospital, Channel 2 reported. 

4:51 p.m. Atlanta police now say three people were shot.

They believe drugs were involved based on witness accounts but they are still investigating, according to Sgt. Warren Pickard.

4:43 p.m. Atlanta police confirmed one man was shot in the head. The condition of the victims is not known. 

4:35 p.m. Witnesses told Channel 2 they saw a car drive by and fire several rounds into the mall parking lot. 

UPDATE [4:33 p.m.]: Part of Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard is closed as police investigate the shooting, according to Channel 2 Action News. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Three men and one woman were shot Friday afternoon outside West End mall on the 800 block of Oak Street, Atlanta police said. 

RELATED: Man shot in stomach outside West End Mall

All have been taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. 

No other details were released. 

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