A gunman identified as Daquan Westbrook pointed his weapon at an off-duty police officer who responded to the sound of gunshots in a busy mall on Christmas eve. As the officer approached, Westbrook pointed a gun at the officer who had given orders to Westbrook to drop the gun. The veteran officer shot and killed Westbrook. The officer is on leave pending investigation.
The incident is believed to have originated as an ongoing dispute between Westbrook and another person. Police report that Westbrook fired the gun during the altercation with another person at the mall.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said there were multiple guns found at the scene.
Original story: An alleged gunman is now dead after shots were fired at a North Carolina mall on Thursday afternoon during the final day of Christmas shopping.
Conflicting reports state that the shooting occurred during an altercation between two men in the mall. The shooting occurred around 2 p.m. and was originally reported as an attempted robbery.
Shauntelle Hamrick, manager of a Journeys shoe store in the mall stated that the gunfire was a result of an altercation outside the Journeys store.
Developing reports indicate a person was shot outside a store at the Northlake Mall in Raleigh, North Carolina.
According to a witness, a police officer shot and killed the gunman. An employee in the mall said there were five or six gunshots. Mall security evacuated employees and shoppers in the mall.
Several injuries and medical situations are reported including a woman in labor, a leg injury and one person suffered an asthma attack. CNN reports that a 67-year-old mall employee is in serious but stable condition. His wound is apparently the result of a stray bullet.
One shopper said, “Everybody was just running out of the mall.” She reported that she heard screams and felt the mall start to shake as people were running.
The local police responded to the incident as if it were a possible active shooter. “That’s how we respond in this day and age,” Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said.
Witnesses now say that the gunman was warned by police to drop his weapon and when the gunman did not obey orders, he was shot and killed by police.