MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Police have released grainy surveillance images of two suspects wanted for questioning in connection to a shot that was fired inside a popular East Memphis movie theater.
Police say a man fired a single shot into the ceiling in one of the 16 theaters at Malco Paradiso on Mendenhall just before midnight Friday, sending a panicked crowd running for their lives.
"What’s happened here, this kind of gunfire, has become – I don’t even bother calling the police anymore. I hear it almost every night in the neighborhood somewhere," said Neil Aird, who lives in Parkway Village.
Police say no one was shot, but several people were hurt trying to escape the theater.
"I’d be out the door, and unfortunately, that creates another problem because then you’re going to get a stampede," Aird said.
Aird admitted he was surprised by the news, saying that’s not something he would expect at the popular spot.
"Because this is a pretty upscale neighborhood and a good theater," he said. "It’s been around quite a while. Yes, I’m kind of surprised to hear."
The theater already has a strict policy banning kids under 17 from R-rated movies after 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from any other movie during those times without a parent.
Malco’s Senior Vice President of Theater Operations, David Tashie, called it an “isolated incident."
In a statement, Tashie said:
"Last night at approximately 11:40 pm, there was an isolated incident at the Malco Paradiso where an individual fired a single shot into the ceiling of an auditorium. Security was on site, and police responded within minutes to begin investigating. A few injuries occurred while patrons were exiting the auditorium, and thankfully no one was seriously hurt. The safety of our patrons will always be our highest priority, and we are fully cooperating with the police in this matter as they continue to review our video surveillance."
For people in the community, this is just another disappointment in a city plagued with crime.
"It’s a sad way this city has gone that it is the way that people resort to either getting attention for themselves or to settle a perceived wrong," Aird said.
Police say the shooter was wearing a black nylon zip-up hoodie with white pants and sneakers.
The woman who was with him had long black hair and was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt with dark camouflage pants and black and white sneakers.
Investigators say they took off in a black car.
Police have released additional photos of the suspects.
If you know anything, you can call in an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.