Torrance Mall Shooting Sees Three Teens Gunned Down in California

A shooting outside a mall in Torrance, California, has left three teenagers wounded, including one in critical condition.

At about 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday, officers from Torrance Police Department (TPD) responded to a call of gunshots outside of the J's Restaurant in Del Amo Mall in the centre of the city.

When they arrived, police discovered eight shell casings in the parking lots outside the restaurant. Police learned three teenagers had been shot, and had been taken to Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center before they arrived at the scene.

One victim was in critical condition after being shot in the head, while the other two are wounded but in stable condition, police said.

The Los Angeles Police Department said all three victims were 17 years old, and that they have all been taken to hospital.

The TPD said suspects ran southbound before carjacking someone close to a nearby Dave and Buster's diner near Hawthorne Boulevard. The victim of the carjacking has not been injured.

TPD said the stolen vehicle was a small Chevy SUV and there are likely to be three to four suspects involved, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Newsweek has contacted the TPD and the LAPD for comment on the incident.

The Los Angeles Times reported on December 8 that at least 85 criminal cases in Torrance had been dismissed over racist and homophobic text messages shared by police officers. The texts, sent by former and current officers at the TPD, contain hateful messages about Black people, Jewish people and the LGBTQ+ community, the paper reported.

The exact number of officers involved is unclear, but a Torrance police spokesperson said 15 had been placed on administrative leave.

The reason why the cases were thrown out was because of the the officers' alleged prejudices against the targeted communities may have influenced the treatment of certain cases and suspects.

TPD chief Jay Hart said in a statement: "I am committed to accountability, and I will not tolerate any form of bigotry, racism, hate, or misconduct."

In a statement on its website, the City of Torrance said: "The City of Torrance wants all members of the community alike to be reassured that the city does not condone any member under our employ that expresses or condones behaviour inconsistent with our mission to serve everyone in the community with respect and dignity.

"We will not tolerate any form of bigotry, racism, hate, or misconduct.

"An internal investigation is being conducted and the involved officers have been placed on administrative leave."

Police, Crime Scene, Tape
A stock photo of police tape. A shooting outside a mall in Torrance, California has left three teenagers wounded, including one in critical condition. Matt Rourke/AP Photo