San Diego

Fight Leads to Gunfire Outside Escondido Movie Theater: PD

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

A fight led to gunfire outside of an Escondido movie theater Friday night as a large crowd was waiting in line to buy tickets.

The shooting happened at around 8:50 p.m. in front of Regal Theatre at 350 W. Valley Parkway.

The Escondido Police Department said officers had received reports of a fight outside of the theater. At least one 911 caller reported hearing a single gunshot.

Officers arrived and found a 16-year-old with a bullet wound to his calf. He was taken to Palomar Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police said the victim was not cooperating with the investigation.

Escondido Police Department Lt. Mark Petersen said there were conflicting reports as to what happened next.

Some witnesses said the suspect, described as a man in his 20s wearing a gray sweatshirt, black hat and glasses, ran into the theater to hide.

Others reported the suspect ran away from the theater and did not go inside.

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.

Meanwhile, back at the theater, Petersen said 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.

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.

No one else was hurt.

Police said the people involved in the fight ranged in age from 16 to early-20s.

No arrests have been made and no further details have been released.

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