Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said Monday around 10:44 p.m., police were called to the theater about a person shot. When they arrived, they found a 24-year-old man injured. He had been shot once, Hampton said. APD said the man was taken to the hospital.
Hampton said incidents like these causes pandemonium for those around.
"Patrons inside the theater obviously heard the gunshot, quickly exited," Hampton said.
He said this was an argument over a seat during a 10 p.m. show.
"When the suspect got there, the movie had already started, [the person] proceeded to the seat, and that seat was already occupied," Hampton said. "Some type of argument ensued over the seat, and again, instead of going to get a movie attendant to help resolve it, the shooter decided to use a handgun that he had on the person and shot the victim one time."
Police released a photo of two people who Hampton said investigators believe are "significantly involved."
The photo shows a man is wearing a black coat with a white hoodie accompanied by a woman. Hampton said they are treating the woman in the photo as a witness at this time. However, they are still trying to gather more details.
Photos: APD work to identify to in connection to AMC Phipps Plaza shooting
"As we continue to move into this holiday season, we understand that people want to go out, they want to have a good time, they want to spend time with their families, they want to spend time at movie theaters, at restaurants and sporting events, but we're asking people to again do the right thing," he said.
He said they are seeing an increase in people carrying handguns.
"Unfortunately, when we have these arguments that escalate we are noticing that people are not engaging in any type of conflict resolution," Hampton added.
He is asking people to walk away and de-escalate situations to avoid violence.
Phipps Plaza released the following statement Tuesday night:
"We are thoroughly investigating the incident with the leadership of AMC theaters. AMC has immediately agreed to add private armed security in their theater to complement the comprehensive security measures that are in place in the mall. At Phipps Plaza, we are working with security experts across the globe to establish the most comprehensive, zero-tolerant, high-security program for the safety of our guests. We take any incident very seriously. We are increasing the breadth and depth of monitoring by off-duty Atlanta Police Department officers and private security. Additionally, the property also employs around-the-clock surveillance technology both inside the property and in the parking areas."
Anyone with information that could help police is asked to call Crime Stoppers 404-577-TIPS.