Tempe police are looking for two suspects they believe were behind a shooting Tuesday night that hit about ten people at a hamburger eatery, sending four of them to local hospitals with non life-threatening injuries.
The shooting on the corner of Priest and University drives occurred around 8:20 p.m. Police say the shooters were firing at least one shotgun while crouched behind a nearby wall, sending pellets flying at a man sitting at the bus stop and people dining at Rally’s Hamburgers where customers eat outside at tables under an awning.
So far, details of the suspects in the apparent random shooting are vague. Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Horn said witnesses interviewed have described the pair as wearing dark clothing, and they were last seen running east on University Drive in the direction of downtown Tempe.
Investigators still are trying to gather more specifics. They have recovered two shell casings and were told by witnesses that between two and six shots were fired.
Witnesses have told police they saw two men positioned behind the wall on the southeast corner of the intersection – situated opposite of Rally’s, which is on the northwest corner.
A man at the scene told reporters, “we thought it was fireworks at first,” but as soon as the customers realized the noises were gunshots, they started running.
Robert Sult, 20, was sitting outside at a table eating with friends when he heard a popping noise. It sounded like it was coming from the bus stop area, he said. As the shots were fired, he said he jumped over a wall that separates the restaurant from another business, and started crawling for cover.
The shots struck someone waiting at the bus stop near Rally’s, where a blood stain was visible.
One injured victim was treated at the scene after being hit in the leg. Two were taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn and the other two were taken to Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, according to police.
Among those hospitalized was one woman, who was hit in the forearm. The others were men, one of whom was shot in the back of the head and in the nose, another in the wrist and the other in the hip. They ranged in age from 20 to 42.