3 Injured in Office Shooting in Phoenix

12:01 AM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
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By The Arizona Republic

Three people suffered gunshot wounds during a shooting at an office complex in north-central Phoenix Wednesday morning, officials said.

Three others were transported to area hospitals; the nature of their injuries was not described.

The shooting occurred about 10:30 a.m. inside a building in the 7300 block of North 16th Street, north of Glendale Avenue, officials said.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department said officers believe one suspect is responsible for the shooting and that the suspect is still on the loose. Thompson said one man walked into the building and shot several people.

He said it is unclear how many total victims there are and what a motive may have been.

"At this point we don't believe he is in the area," Thomspon said. "This doesn't appear to be a random type of incident."

People inside the building told azcentral.com that the incident appeared to be over but officers were sweeping the building.

Rob Hayter works at Pioneer Title Agency and was on the second floor of the three-story building where the shooting occurred. No shots were fired in his office. He said he heard five or six shots before calling 911.

Hayter said he looked out his office window and said he saw two bodies lying on the ground.

"It was a little tense, everybody came and hid in the IT room," Hayter said.

Larry Ruch, who works out of a law office across the street, said there are 50 police cars, seven to eight fire trucks and K-9 units at the location. It appeared to him that four people were taken out on stretchers; scores of onlookers took to balconies of nearby buildings to watch the scene unfold.

The area, just north of the Arizona Canal is dotted by small office complexes on both sides of the six-lane street. A strip mall is just south of the canal, with a Chevron station across the street. Just after the shooting, the station, at the intersection of 16th Street and Glendale, was cordoned off with yellow police tape and traffic was reported to be heavily congested.

The shooting was mentioned during congressional hearings about gun violence. Mark Kelly, the former shuttle astronaut and husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, told the Senate panel that there had been "what seems to be a shooting with multiple victims with multiple shots fired."

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