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article imageTwo die in shooting at Florida shopping mall

By Nathan Salant     Jan 18, 2015 in Crime
Melbourne - Two people were killed and a third wounded Saturday in a shooting at a shopping mall in central Florida, authorities said.
The Saturday morning shooting at the Melbourne Square mall in Melbourne, Fla., apparently followed a domestic dispute involving Jose Garcia Rodriguez, his wife, Ida Garcia, and an unidentified man.
Melbourne Police Cmdr. Vincent Pryce said Rodriguez, 57, shot the unidentified man and Garcia, then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide at the mall's food court, according to Cable News Network (CNN)
Garcia, 33, was listed in good condition at a Melbourne hospital, CNN said.
Police reported getting a 911 call reporting the shooting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, a time when most stores have not yet opened for the day.
The sound of gunfire sent prospective shoppers scrambling for cover while they waited for stores to open.
Mall employee Brittany Brown told Orlando TV station WESH that people in the mall panicked and started running for their lives after the shooting started, CNN said.
"I look up and a whole bunch of people are running, and they're saying, 'Run, run, run -- people are shooting, people are dying,'" Brown said.
Local resident Donna Evans told Channel 13 that she was carrying a food order when the shooting started.
"It was a frightening experience," Evans said.
"It was crazy -- we had just gotten our food to sit down by Starbucks and Chick-fil-A and all of sudden you hear pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop," she said.
Elizabeth Tickle told WESH that she heard about six shots.
"I figured somebody was shooting somebody; it's going on all the time now," she said.
Pryce said police were trying to determine the motive for the shooting, and said Rodriguez had gone to the mall, where his wife worked, armed with three handguns and pockets full of ammunition.
"Officers quickly identified the threat and contained the situation," police in nearby Orlando said in a written statement.
"Officers conducted a store-to-store search of the Mall for additional suspects, injured, witnesses and conducted an evacuation; no additional threats were located," the statement said.
The mall is expected to reopen Sunday, Pryce said.
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