One person was shot at the Opry Mills shopping mall in Nashville this Thursday. According to officials, the shooting took place inside an Old Navy in the mall and at least one victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where they were said to be in critical condition. With police believing a dispute cause the shooting, conflicting reports have given different numbers of victims. Officers are also attempting an evacuation at the mall.
The Metro Nashville Police Department issued the following statement on Twitter:
“BREAKING: Dispute at Opry Mills Mall results in gunfire. One person shot. Suspected shooter in custody. No additional imminent threat known. Mall being swept by MNPD officers as a precaution.”
In a series of posts on Twitter, in addition to retweeting the above post, the Nashville Fire Department confirmed that there had been one victim who was taken to a local hospital and that claims of a second victim were believed to be false:
“Our personnel is on scene at Opry Mills Mall. One patient transported to Vanderbilt in Critical Condition.”
“update: patient is en route to skyline hospital. No other patients right now. A reported second patient was false.”
“We are staging with @MNPDNashville as they clear the mall. No other injuries reported.”
UPDATE: According to WKRN, a 22-year-old man who was shot during the incident later died from his wounds; identified as Demarco Churchwell, the victim endured a neck injury and died shortly after he was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center. The gunman, who is currently in police custody, was identified as Justin Golson, who surrendered his gun and told someone to call police at the Opry House’s ticket booth after exiting the mall. Police spokesman Don Aaron confirmed that the shooting was caused by a dispute between the victim and the gunman:
“Indication this has been festering and it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing.”
Nearby schools and businesses were placed on lockdown
According to News Channel 5, one person, the suspected shooter, was in police custody with no known additional imminent threat. As mentioned above, police were also evacuating the mall focusing on areas like Bass Pro, Johnny Rockets, and the food court.
Some locations in the area have also been placed on lockdown in response to the shooting, such as Gaylord Opryland Hotel, with people currently being prohibited from entering or leaving. Some local Metro Nashville Public Schools were also placed on lockout, including Two River’s Middle School, Pennington Elementary School, McGavock Elementary School, Stanford Montessori and Litton Middle School.