A street brawl involving around a dozen teen boys near Salem Center Mall on Tuesday resulted in one teen being stabbed, the Salem Police Department announced in a news release nearly a day later.
The 17-year-old victim was transported to Salem Hospital with a non-life-threatening stab wound. Three teens were arrested.
Salem police officers responded just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday to a report of a stabbing at the mall, 480 Center St. N.E., where they found the victim in a restroom.
Police determined the stabbing was the result of a fight involving 10-15 teen boys at the corner of Northeast High Street and Northeast Chemeketa Street.
A bystander video later posted to social media captured the chaotic scene as passing cars honked at the teens involved in the melee.
The teen was stabbed during the fight and was later found in a restroom at the mall, Administrative Sgt. Jonathan Hardy said in an email to Salem Reporter on Wednesday.
“Officers attempted to contact a group of male juveniles, who were suspected to be involved in the fight,” according to the department’s statement. One teen fled, threw away a handgun and was caught shortly after. Police seized the gun.
The three teens – two aged 16 and one 17 – were arrested and lodged at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center.
One of the 16-year-olds has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, and all three teens were charged with riot.
Salem police did not respond to an emailed question Wednesday morning about whether the incident was gang-related.
The news release said the agency does not identify minors involved in criminal investigations. Juvenile court records are generally confidential under state law.
The stabbing is the fifth violent episode police have reported in the area surrounding Salem Center mall in the past 15 months, all involving teen suspects.
A shooting on the first floor of the mall on March 18, 2022 left a teen boy injured and shut down much of downtown Salem for hours as police evacuated dozens of people from the building. Police said at the time that two groups of teens traded verbal taunts and headed toward the exit near High and Chemeketa streets to settle the dispute outside. One teen pulled out a handgun and started firing at one teen from the other group.
About three months later on June 13, 2022, police said a shooting in a downtown parking lot next to Columbia Bank – across from the mall on Center Street – left a 20-year-old man in critical condition. Two teens aged 16 and 14 were arrested at the time.
One teen police suspected in both shootings was killed a month later in a gun battle with Salem police officers.
Salem police responded to another large fight at the intersection of High and Chemeketa near the mall on Feb. 19. A large group of teens had a physical altercation and quickly left in all directions when officers arrived, department spokeswoman Angela Hedrick said at the time.
Another boy, 15, was arrested on May 12 after police said an altercation inside the mall ended with a 20-year old man being stabbed to death.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.