Shooting Reported At Central Florida Mall Food Court, 2 Dead 1 Injured

Shooting Reported At Central Florida Mall Food Court, 2 Dead 1 Injured

*UPDATED 1/17, 7pm EST

CNN reported that the gunman, identified as Jose Garcia-Rodriguez, 57, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting his wife, Ida Garcia-Rodriguez, 33, who worked at the mall, and another man who was not identified.

Rodriguez was allegedly armed with three handguns and handfuls of ammunition.

The man who was not identified died after he got to the hospital. Ida Garcia-Rodriguez is in stable condition at the hospital. Police are still trying to find out what the gunman’s motive was, and they are talking with Jose’s wife, who is cooperating in the investigation. 

According to WFTV, police interviewed Jose Garcia-Rodriguez’s neighbor, Nick Csercse, who said the two used to do yard work together and he never suspected anything was wrong. “I would have never put it in his hand to pull the trigger. He loved his wife,” Csercse said. He also mentioned though that Jose’s wife hadn’t been living at the house in the past few weeks, so he assumed that they were having issues, but it doesn’t appear that the married couple of 16 years were in the middle of getting a divorce. Csercse mentioned, “They’ve been very good neighbors, quiet. Making a living selling ice cream.”

Jose and Ida Garcia-Rodriguez (Image source: WFTV)

Jose and Ida Garcia-Rodriguez (Image source: WFTV)

Many people were waiting for the stores to open when they heard the gunfire. People describe the scene as chaotic and frightening. People dropped everything and ran for their lives and screamed to others “Run, run, run. People are shooting. People are dying.”

The mall is expected to reopen on Sunday.

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In Melbourne, FL, a witness called police around 9:30 a.m reporting that a shooting had occurred in Melbourne Square Mall’s food court area.

Just before 10:30 a.m., the Melbourne Police Department tweeted that officers were “currently working a shooting” and “have control of (the situation” at the Melbourne Square Mall.

10 minutes later, the police tweeted that the “shooter is contained.” They added that the mall is temporarily closed and officers are working to clear evacuate everyone throughout the mall store by store. Employees have been asked to exit through back doors.

Families of mall employees were told to contact police at the main bus stop on the west side of the mall.

Apparently, gunfire erupted this morning and the shooter injured two and then turned the gun on himself, according to an eyewitness.

Cathy Wright, an employee at the Starbucks in the food court, said that she heard “about 3 or 4 gunshots” in “rapid succession.” She told NBC that mall security told her, another employee, and 2 customers to remain in the store.

Jeff Gross, who works at the Rodizio Grill, said he was in the kitchen of the restaurant when he heard 5 or 6 shots. His co-worker, who was working in the front of the restaurant, ran to the kitchen and said “there’s a shooting, we have to get out.” They went through the back entrance to get outside. Gross added that about 5 minutes later, he saw 2 people who were injured being brought through the main entrance.

*More information will be added. Check back for updates.

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