WESTCHESTER (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say they were searching for a suspected gunman who opened fire at an outdoor shopping mall in Westchester, striking a 17-year-old boy.

Officers responded to the Howard Hughes Center in the 6000 block of Center Drive following a report of “shots fired” just after 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Upon arriving on scene, officers were told that a group of kids were standing in front of the movie theater when words were exchanged.

“Possibly gang words. And another kid produced a gun and another kid ended up shot in his lower extremities,” LAPD Sergeant Carlton Jeter told KNX 1070’s Kim Marriner.

The shooting victim was rushed to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening wounds.

Police said the suspected shooter managed to escape and has not yet been detained.

Following the shooting, pandemonium erupted with people running in all directions.

“The mall was evacuated for a short time, then reopened when we determined there was not a suspect in the area,” Los Angeles police Sgt. Corbin Rhealt told City News Service.

A motive for the shooting was not known.

Anyone with more information about the shooting was asked to contact police at (877) ASK-LAPD.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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