The Pima County Sheriff’s Department has identified 60-year-old Frederick Bair, a Fire Captain with the Tucson Fire Department, as the La Encantada mall shooter, according to AZ Central.
The La Encantada Shopping Center in Tucson, Arizona was on lockdown Friday night after two people were killed, including Bair, and another person was injured in a shooting at the Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant.
Circumstances leading up the La Encantada mall shooting is unclear, but according to witness Laura Harder, an assumed altercation between two men, including Bair, ensued just before 7:30 p.m. on Friday near the bar area.
Harder stated that she saw a man [Bair] “grab the other man’s companion by the arm and push her down a hallway.” Shortly after, she heard shots fired.
Apparently, Bair pulled out a handgun and opened fire, shooting the man—whose has not been identified—in the head and shooting a woman, who has been identified as the shooter’s ex-wife, in the leg in the middle of a crowded Tucson restaurant.
— United News America (@UnitedNewsofUSA) April 15, 2017
Some patrons at the Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant immediately ran for cover while others ran out of the restaurant as gunshots erupted.
Toni Esquibel says she was celebrating her teen daughter’s birthday at the Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant with family and friends and had just received their dinner when the Arizona mall shooting occurred.
She and her family immediately took cover, hiding under their table for at least five minutes.
After hearing the shooting at the La Encantada mall, Esquibel stated that her first instinct was to hover over her children to ensure their safety.
“There were probably about 10 shots. It was pretty harrowing. Pretty harrowing, not fun for young girls to have to go through that kind of experience,” said Esquibel.
She went on to say that the “Firebirds staff were fabulous…, ushering people out the back door and to safety.”
“They ushered everybody to safety and (it was) very orderly. I have to tell you that wait staff, the people inside Firebirds, did a great job handling everything. But now the aftermath, I have four very scared young women in the back of my car.”
Deputies with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department rushed to the La Encantada mall, where they found two people dead and a woman with a gunshot wound to the leg.
No other bystanders were injured in the La Encantada mall shooting.
Emergency medical services transported the woman to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
There is no word on her condition.
Officers later uncovered that the gunman was among two dead in the La Encantada mall shooting.
Bair turned the gun on himself after the shooting, firing at least 10 shots inside the Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, according to witnesses.
Pima County police say the mall shooting was not random as they believe the gunman and the victims knew each other, but “the specifics of the relationship are unknown.”
— TucsonNewsNow (@TucsonNewsNow) April 15, 2017
After Bair was identified as the La Encantada mall shooter, Captain Barret Baker with the Tucson Fire Department released the following statement.
“The Tucson Fire Department is heartbroken over the news regarding the shooting at La Encantada that occurred Friday night. The shooting left one person injured and two dead, one of which was Captain Fred Bair. The department extends its thoughts and prayers to the families of this tragic event.”
Four hours after the La Encantada mall shooting, deputies were still investigating the incident and interviewing witnesses.
The La Encantada Shopping Center was on lockdown following the deadly shooting, but it is now open.
Authorities say the Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant remains closed while an investigation continues.
[Featured Image by Fred Bair/Facebook]