Mass shooting in Indianapolis leaves seven children, aged 12 to 17, with gunshot wounds

Seven children have been wounded in a mass shooting outside a shopping centre in the US, police have said.

The victims, who are all aged 12 to 17, were hurt outside the Circle Centre Mall in Indianapolis at around 11.30pm on Saturday.

Deputy chief Tanya Terry, of the Indianapolis metropolitan police department, said officers who were patrolling the area heard shots fired and found "a large group of juveniles" at the scene, including six who had gunshot wounds.

She told reporters on Sunday morning that the victims were taken to local hospitals, where one was initially classified as being critically injured, but was later said to be in a stable condition, while the other five were listed as stable.

A seventh juvenile with a gunshot wound arrived separately at a hospital and was in a stable condition, according to Ms Terry.

The police officer added she did not know the genders of the victims but did report that detectives thought more than one gun was used in the shooting and they have opened an aggravated assault investigation.

She said: "Once again, we have a situation in which young people are resolving conflict with firearms, and it has to stop.

"Conflict should not lead to somebody pulling out a gun and trying to resolve it. The consequences are eternal."

No arrests were made and police did not yet have any suspects, she added.

Police have noticed a pattern of young people leaving the mall after it closes at 7pm and staying in the nearby downtown area for hours, Ms Terry said.

In comments reported by Sky News's US partner network NBC News, she said that if parents don't know where their 12-year-old is at 11.30pm before Easter, that should "be a priority."

This is the third shooting in three weekends in Indianapolis, NBC said, citing its affiliate WTHR.

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Last Sunday, five people - including an officer - were killed in a shooting on the east side of the city, with the suspect later shot and killed by an officer.

Another person was killed in a shooting at a bar earlier this month which left five others injured, according to the Indianapolis Star.