Police Apprehend Paddock Mall Shooting Suspect

(Public/Screenshot/YouTube/NBC News)

John Oyewale Contributor
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This post has been updated with new information regarding police apprehending the suspect.

A man was killed and multiple others were injured in a Saturday shooting at a shopping mall in central Florida, according to authorities.

The Ocala Police Department (OPD) received a distress call about an active shooter situation at the Paddock Mall in Ocala at about 3:40 p.m., according to an OPD statement. A heavy police presence was dispatched to the mall but they did not locate the shooter at the scene, according to the statement.

“We believe the shooter fled the area and is at large,” the statement noted.

Police found a man dead in the mall’s common area as well as a woman with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound who was then taken to the hospital.

“We also believe this shooting may have been targeted,” the statement added.

Ocala Police Department (OPD) identified the deceased victim as David Nathaniel Barron, 40, as well as a person of interest.

OPD and the United States Marshals Service (Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force) apprehended the suspect, Albert Shell Jr., on Jan. 8, 2024, 15 days after announcing him as the suspect on Dec. 24, 2023.

The injured woman was shot in the leg; among the other injuries was a broken arm, Ocala Police Chief Michael Balken said at a press conference. “We know for a fact that our shooter was a black male dressed in a black hoodie [and] black pants and a black mask partially covering his face,” Balken added. “He fled the mall undetected. Right now, we’re searching for him.”

The police recovered the firearm allegedly used by the suspect, Balken said. (RELATED: Bodycam Footage Shows Moment Cops Shoot Down Texas Mall Shooter)

A video from a shopper, Syriah Williams, showed a chaotic scene at the mall during the shooting. The video recorded an aghast Williams calling for her mother as she head along what appeared to be a narrow hallway leading to an exit, saying, “There’s no way that just happened.”

Williams said she heard four shots in total and that there was chaos while she and her mother were shopping at a nearby Bath & Body Works store,  NBC News reported. “The employees opened the back storage area and told everyone to run. The hallway led to a back exit,” she said.

Police are calling for the public to share videos of any part of the shooting with detectives.