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Chattanooga police seek information in Hamilton Place mall shootout investigation

The Chattanooga Police Department is seeking information from the public about last week's shooting at Hamilton Place Mall.

The department released photos of three people they are seeking to identify in the investigation into the shooting on Thursday, which involved two groups firing at each other in the crowded mall.

"These three individuals are the ones that investigators are seeking assistance in identifying," Sgt. Jeremy Eames told press on Tuesday. "There are more individuals involved."

Eames said that the department is seeking information from any members of the public who may have information about the shoot-out, in which one woman was injured.

(READ MORE: Two groups involved in shoot-out at Hamilton Place mall, one woman injured)

"Investigators are now seeking public assistance in identifying some of these parties involved. If you know or think you may know who any of these individuals are in the images that we've provided, please call 423-643-5100 to speak with an investigator," Eames said. "And as always, you can remain anonymous."

Police are seeking two specific women, described by Eames as Caucasian, who "appear to have been very close to the shooting," who have not yet spoken to investigators.

"Based on camera footage that we've seen, they just appear to be really close to the incident, and investigators have not heard from them," Eames said. "So they would really like to talk to them, as it relates to the investigation."

Eames said that information from the public is especially valuable to police in an incident like this because the "chaos" captured in the footage makes it harder for individuals to be identified.

"Obviously, the worst thing to have happen is to get it wrong, to get the identification wrong. And there are moments leading up to the incident and where behaviors are normal, people are walking through the mall. Obviously, when the shooting begins, chaos erupts, and then chaos reigns throughout the duration of the rest of the event there," Eames said.

"When people are running and images get blurred and kind of run together, it becomes difficult to pin down those identifications," he said, "so in those moments leading up to that, people are going to have a good, a better image of who those folks might be.

"This is not a situation where we can afford to get it wrong."

During the news conference, Eames said police believe that the shooting was targeted between the two groups, not targeting members of the public.

"Obviously, everyone there that day was placed in danger because of the reckless actions of these individuals. However, we do believe that their behavior, the shooting was at the groups. It was at each other, and we don't believe that anyone in the mall was targeted otherwise," Eames said. "It wasn't random. These individuals did not walk into the mall say 'hey, you know, I think I'm going to shoot the mall up today.'"

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.

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