Mesa police officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying a drive-by shooter who opened fire on a food truck seating area near Dobson and Guadalupe roads Friday night, injuring seven. 

In a media briefing Saturday, Mesa police Chief Ken Cost said an unidentified person in a white Kia Soul or other box-shaped SUV shot into a crowd of people eating outside food trucks in the parking lot. Seven people were wounded, including children aged 1, 6, 9 and 16 in addition to three adults. 

One of the vendors returned fire. It’s not clear whether the vehicle was struck. Cost said the car then headed west on Guadalupe into Tempe. 

The 1-year-old child remained in extremely critical condition Saturday. Cost said the other injuries range from minor to severe. The children were from multiple families. 

Cost noted that a man was seen assaulting a woman at the same location earlier in the night. One of the food vendors and other bystanders intervened and broke up the fight. 

Investigators haven’t tied the incident to the shooting, but Cost said they have not ruled it out.  

Police continued to canvass the area and search for nearby surveillance footage Saturday.

Cost said police are looking for “anyone and everyone” who may have witnessed the fight or the shooting to contact police, calling for any details, videos, photos or anything else that might help investigators.

“They crossed the line. They shot children and it’s unacceptable,” Cost said. “You need to come forward and do the right thing.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mesa Police Department at 480-644-2211.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-8529. Follow her on Twitter @brieannafrank

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