Police: 2 dead, 1 wounded at Florida mall – USA TODAY
Two people were killed, and one other injured after a shooting at a mall food court in Melbourne, Florida.
MELBOURNE, Fla. — A shooting at a mall food court left two people dead and one other injured Saturday morning, police said.
Police say one of those who died, Jose Garcia Rodriguez, 57, is believed to have been the shooter. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“We believe one of the deceased is our shooter,” Commander Vince Pryce of the Melbourne Police Department said.
His intended victim was his wife, Ida Garcia, 33, who is listed in good condition at a local hospital. Both are from Palm Bay. Police said they believe a domestic dispute led to the shooting.
Police did not release the name of the other person killed in the incident.
Police began receiving 911 calls at about 9:31 a.m. reporting shots fired at the mall, Pryce said.
The first officers on the scene could hear shots still being fired. The officers formed “active shooter” teams and entered the mall and were able to contain the situation, Pryce said. Police have not yet determined how many shots were fired, but recovered three handguns at the scene.
Investigators have released few other details of the shooting, which remains under investigation. Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan, who was briefed by a police official, said the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute between a woman who worked at the mall’s food court and her husband. A co-worker of the wife tried to get the gun away from the gunman, but was shot in the struggle and killed.
Most stores in the mall don’t open until 10 a.m. and police said about 100 people were in the mall at the time of the shooting. Most were employees of businesses preparing to open for the day as well as some others walking in the mall. Many were able to escape as the incident unfolded.
After the shooting ended, police officers swept through the mall to make sure there were no further threats and to escort people from the building.
“Due to the unfortunate incident at the mall this morning, we are closed until further notice,” the mall, Melbourne Square, posted on its Facebook page. “We are still gathering information, as the police conduct their investigation.”
FBI agents are on the scene, according to an online statement from the West Melbourne Police Department.
Elizabeth Trickle and Donna Evans of Melbourne were in the food court preparing to eat when they heard a “pop, pop.”
Witnessess describe what they heard during a shooting at the Melbourne Square mall in Florida.
“We had just gotten our food to sit down by Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, and you just hear the ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,’ and you just drop everything and your body just makes you run,” said Evans, who estimates she was 20 to 25 feet away.