One person is dead and two others are wounded following a shooting at the Melbourne Square Mall, an upscale mall along Florida’s Space Coast.
The shooting occurred at about 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) in the mall’s food court, according to Florida Today. At the time, the mall was half an hour away from its official 10 a.m. opening, but usually opens the doors early for mall-walkers and employees to get around.
Elizabeth Trickle and Donna Evans were sitting down to eat at the food court when they heard a “pop-pop” sound.
“I was running one way. [Evans] was running another way and then she came back and she got me and we ran through the exit at Dillard’s.”
Evans estimated that she was about 20 to 25 feet away from where the mall shooting took place.
“It was a frightening experience, something that you don’t ever want anybody to experience. It was crazy. 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.”
It is unclear, as of this post, how many people were in the Melbourne Square Mall at the time of the shooting. According to the Orlando Sentinel, police began evacuating the mall immediately, and bomb squad was called in to search the mall.
At 1:20 p.m. (Eastern Time), Florida Today updated their coverage of the story to report that Melbourne mayor Kathy Meehan had confirmed a motive for the shooting, and to provide a little more information about the identity of the shooter and the victims. It appears that the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute between a man and his wife, who worked at the mall food court. The man shot his wife, and then a coworker struggled to get the gun away, and both the coworker and the gunman were shot in the scuffle. As of this post, it appears that the coworker is the one confirmed fatality in the mall shooting.
The Melbourne Square Mall issued a notice via its Facebook page stating that, due to the shooting, the mall will be closed today.
“Due to the unfortunate incident at the mall this morning we are closed until further notice. We are still gathering information as the police conduct their investigation.”
This is a developing news story. More information about the Melbourne Square Mall shooting, including the identity of the suspect(s) and victims, will be published as that information becomes available.
[Image courtesy of: Bright House Media]