1 dead, 1 injured in shooting at Florida shopping mall, police say

Dec 23, 2023, 4:33 PM | Updated: 6:21 pm

emergency lights...

FILE: The Nevada Highway Patrol took one person into custody on Sunday after the discovery of fentanyl during a traffic stop.  (KSL TV)


(CNN) — One man is dead, and a woman is injured after a shooting inside an Ocala, Florida mall Saturday afternoon, according to Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken.

Balken said police received 911 calls about multiple shots fired inside the Paddock Mall. He added the call came in describing an “active shooter” scenario, so they responded with a heavy police presence.

“Officers immediately made entry into the mall and ultimately discovered this was not an active shooter situation,” Balken said.

Police instead characterized the shooting incident as a targeted act of violence, Balken said.

Paddock Mall in Ocala was evacuated and there is no longer a threat, police said in a Facebook post.

The chief confirmed one adult male was found dead inside the mall from gunshot wounds. Balken said one woman suffered a gunshot wound to her leg. He said she was transported to a hospital, adding she is expected to survive.

Police are still searching for the suspect, who was described as a Black male wearing a black hoodie, black pants and a black mask over his face, Balken said.

“Please avoid the area as police investigate,” officials said in the Facebook post. In a tweet after the news conference, Ocala PD posted on X, formerly Twitter, said they are conducting a “secondary sweep” of the mall Saturday evening.

Syriah Williams, 18, told CNN she was shopping with her mother at the mall when the shooting happened. “We heard one shot then a pause then 3 other shots rang out and chaos erupted,” she said in a message. Williams said mall employees opened the back storage area and instructed everyone to run.

Williams made her way through the storage area and down a hallway that led to a back exit, she said.

WPG, owners of the Paddock Mall issued a statement Saturday night following the shooting:

“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.”

Gun violence deaths are approaching 42,000 for the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Communities large and small across the country are searching for ways to curb the violence, as state-level efforts to regulate firearms in CaliforniaNew YorkMaryland and elsewhere have failed in court.

The shooting occurred at a shopping mall on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, second only to Black Friday, analysts said. With the holiday falling on a Monday and online orders unlikely to arrive by Christmas Day, in-person shopping at brick-and-mortar stores was expected to be up sharply from past years.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

The Supreme Court may hand down at least one opinion on Monday, according to a new post on the cour...

John Fritze, CNN

Supreme Court may announce at least one opinion Monday as US waits for word on Trump ballot case

The Supreme Court may hand down at least one opinion on Monday, according to a new post on the court’s website. The announcement is certain to drive speculation that the justices are prepared to decide whether former President Donald Trump is eligible to appear on Colorado’s presidential ballot.

1 hour ago

(From left) Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in 'Dune: Part Two.'
Mandatory Credit:	Niko Tavernise/Wa...

Lindsey Bahr, AP Film Writer

‘Dune: Part Two’ brings spice power to the box office with $81.5 million debut

Movie theaters were looking for a savior and “Dune: Part Two” is delivering on the promise.

5 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night ...

Eric Bradner and Daniel Strauss, CNN

Trump wins all delegates at stake in Michigan GOP convention amid leadership battle

Former President Donald Trump won all 39 delegates at stake at a Michigan Republican convention Saturday, as officials there sought to move past a leadership battle that has split the state party into rival factions.

20 hours ago

Workers clear snow in a residential neighborhood, Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Truckee, Calif. (AP P...

Brooke Hess and Ken Ritter, The Associated Press

A massive blizzard howls in the Sierra Nevada. High winds and heavy snow close roads and ski resorts

A powerful blizzard that a meteorologist termed “as bad as it gets” howled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, closing a long stretch of Interstate 80 in Northern California, forcing ski resorts to shut down, and leaving thousands of homes without power.

21 hours ago

People inspect damage and recover items from their homes following Israeli air strikes on February ...

Waafa Shurafa and Samy Magdy

U.S. says Israel has agreed to the framework for a Gaza cease-fire. Hamas now must decide

A senior U.S. official says Israel has essentially endorsed a framework of a proposed Gaza cease-fire and hostage release deal, and it is now up to Hamas to agree to it.

1 day ago

yellow tape crossing blue and red lights...

Associated Press

Body parts of 2 people found in Long Island park and police are trying to identify them

Police on New York's Long Island were trying to identify human remains found in a popular suburban park that appear to be from a man and a woman.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

1 dead, 1 injured in shooting at Florida shopping mall, police say