OCALA, Fla. – A man died and a woman was injured Saturday in a shooting at the Paddock Mall in Ocala, Florida — two days before Christmas Day, the Ocala Police Department said.
Police responded to reports of an “active shooter situation” after 911 calls reported multiple shots fired at the mall around 3:40 p.m. Saturday. Police later said it was not an active shooter situation, but appeared to be a targeted shooting that took place in a “common area” inside the mall.
What do we know about the victims of the Florida Mall shooting?
A man — later identified as 40-year-old David Nathaniel Barron — was found dead inside the mall. A woman was found with a gunshot wound to her leg and was taken to hospital with what police described as a non-life-threatening wound.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and are committed to bringing the culprit to justice,” police said in social media updates.
Police said others were injured during the chaos that followed the burst of gunfire.
What we know about the suspect in the Florida mall shooting
At a press conference Saturday evening, police said the suspected shooter fled the mall. He is described as a black male, wearing a black hoodie, black pants, and a black mask partially covering his face.
'Person of Interest' Wanted in Deadly Florida Mall Shooting
Early Sunday morning, police released a photo collage of a “person of interest” in the wake of the fatal shooting and asked for the public's help in identifying him.
Photos appeared to show a man wearing a red hat, black hoodie and black pants.
“If you recognize this person, please call Detective Bauer at 352-369-7000 or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Marion County by calling 352-368-STOP (7867) or **TIPS. Submit tips online OcalaCrimeStoppers.com..”
Police asked anyone who was inside the mall at the time of the shooting and has photos or videos to email [email protected] or text 352-656-6137.
The mall parking lot has reopened, but the mall remains closed, police said. It was unclear whether the mall would reopen Sunday.
FOX 35 reached out to the mall, but did not receive a response. As of Sunday morning, there were no posts or messages about the shooting on the mall's website or social media posts.
Ocala is about an hour and a half north of Orlando.