OCALA, Fla. - UPDATE 12/26/23:
The Ocala Police Department has announced a $10,000 reward for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of suspect Albert Shell Jr. If you have information to share, you can contact Ocala Police at 352-656-6137.
A man is dead and a woman was hurt after a shooting Saturday inside the Paddock Mall in Ocala, Florida – two days before Christmas Day, according to the Ocala Police Department.
Police responded to reports of an "active shooting situation" around 3:40 p.m. Saturday after 911 calls reported multiple shots fired at the mall. Police later said it was not an active shooter situation, but appeared to be a targeted shooting that happened in a "common area" inside the mall.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Albert Shell Jr. for premeditated first-degree murder and attempted premeditated first-degree murder.
Credit: Ocala Police Department
What we know about the victims in 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 taken to the hospital with what police described as a non-life-threatening injury.
"We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and we are committed to bringing the perpetrator to justice," police said in social media updates.
Others were injured during the chaos after the shooting erupted, police said.
Ocala Police are also searching for the person who took the alleged shooter's hat from the Paddock Mall. They said the hat may contain DNA evidence.
According to a Twitter post, Ocala police are threatening to release the picture of the person who took the hat on social media and to arrest them.
What we know about the alleged suspect in the Florida mall shooting
At a Saturday evening press conference, police said the suspected shooter ran away from the mall. He was described as a Black male, wearing a black hoodie, black pants, and had a black mask partially covering his face.
‘Person of interest’ sought in deadly Florida mall shooting
Early Sunday morning, police released a photo collage of a "person of interest" in the wake of the deadly shooting, and asked the public for its help to identify him.
The photos appeared to show a man wearing a red hat, black hoodie, and black pants.
"If you recognize this person, please call Detective Boyer at 352-369-7000 or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Marion County by calling 352-368-STOP (7867) or **TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at OcalaCrimeStoppers.com.."
Police also asked anyone who happened to be inside the mall at the time of the shooting and has photos or videos to email those to MediaRelations@ocalapd.org or text them to 352-656-6137.
Is Paddock Mall open?
Early Sunday morning, Paddock Mall announced on its social media accounts that it would be closed on Sunday, Christmas Eve, and Monday, Christmas Day.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with all those involved. The safety of our guests, retailers and employees is our top priority. We are working closely with the Ocala Police Department as they investigate this incident," a spokesperson for wpg, owner of Paddock Mall, said in a statement Sunday morning.
The mall's parking lot reopened late Saturday so people could get their vehicles following the shooting, Ocala police said.
Ocala is about an hour and a half north of Orlando.