San Diego

Arrest Made in Shooting Outside Crowded Escondido Movie Theater

Just before 9 p.m., Escondido police were alerted to a large fight outside a Regal Theatre on West Valley Parkway

An arrest has been made in connection with a shooting at a crowded Escondido movie theater halted operations inside, the Escondido Police Department said Wednesday.

A 20-year-old man is being held on more than $1.2 million bail in connction with the shooting outside of the Regal Theatre at 350 W. Valley Parkway on June 28. 

The shooting, which followed a fight outside the theater, left a 16-year-old with a bullet wound to his calf. He was taken to Palomar Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect was not being identified by police, who said it could conflict with their investigation. He was believed to be one of three men who fled the scene after the shooting. 

After he was taken into custody last Friday, investigators conducted a search of the suspect's residence. 

The shooting caused a commotion at the theater. 

Some witnesses said the suspect ran into the theater to hide. Others reported the suspect ran away from the theater and did not go inside.

Officers worked to search and secure the theater, making sure the person who fired the gun was not inside. The theater was shut down and, eventually, police said the building was safe. No one else was hurt. 

Several other teens involved in the fight ran away from the theater, EPD said. Police said another fight broke out a short time later at a nearby Starbucks. There, several minors were detained by EPD and released to their parents.

Police said the victim was not cooperating with the investigation.

NBC 7 spoke with several moviegoers who were concerned about the incident and how it all transpired.

Three of them they were inside watching a movie when they saw police officers searching the theater with flashlights. They said they felt there was a lack of communication from police about what had happened outside and were upset. 

A fourth moviegoer told NBC 7 he was outside wanting to buy a movie ticket but was turned away as the theater was being shut down following the shooting.

Police are still seeking witnesses that can provide them with further information on this incident. Anyone with information was asked to call the Escondido Police Department’s Gang Unit at 760-839-4422.

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