Police are searching for a group of people who shot three men Tuesday following a car chase through a Mesa neighborhood.
The victims, ages 19, 21 and 23, were taken to Valley hospitals and treated for nonlife-threatening injuries, said Mesa detective Tim Gaffney. One was shot in the chest, another in the leg, and a bullet grazed the third man’s head.
Police are looking for three men, described as Hispanic in their early twenties and late teens, in connection with the shooting. They were last seen in a green Chevrolet Lumina, Gaffney said.
The chase started after an argument at a Mesa convenience store and ended about 2:30 p.m. in the 500 block of South Olive, near Broadway Road and Mesa Drive, police said.
Witnesses said two men jumped out of a Lumina and opened fire on the victims, who were getting out of a Lincoln Town Car. The shooters then got back into the car and drove away.
Police said that the two groups know each other but investigators did not know why they were arguing at the store.
Debbie Tellez, who lives on Olive, said she heard about four shots and saw one of the victims run off.
"He told me, ‘I got shot,’ " Tellez said. She added that the man raced through the alley with a leg wound.
He climbed over a roughly 8-foot wall to the east of Olive and landed in a construction site, said Dennis Glaser, 58, a foreman with Ruggles Masonry, a subcontractor at the site.
The man asked workers to call 911 for him, saying he was shot, and workers took him into a management trailer.
"There was blood everywhere," Glaser said, adding that the man was excited and seemed afraid. The other two victims were found lying near the Lincoln.
As police investigated the shooting, elementary school children made their way through a web of yellow crime tape that sealed off the sections of Olive and nearby Bellview Street.
"It’s very fortunate that no innocent bystanders or children were hit by gunfire," Gaffney said, adding that a number of children live in the neighborhood.