MELBOURNE, Fla. (Reuters) – A man armed with “several pockets full of ammunition” opened fire at a Florida shopping mall on Saturday, injuring his wife and killing another man before fatally shooting himself, police said.
Investigators believe a domestic dispute triggered the shooting just as stores at Melbourne Square mall on Florida’s east coast were preparing to open for the day, said Melbourne police commander Vince Pryce.
Police who responded to the scene after receiving calls about a shooting could still hear gunfire when they arrived, Pryce said at a televised news conference.
Inside by the food court, they found the suspected gunman, Jose Garcia-Rodriguez, 57, of Palm Bay; his wife, Idanerys Garcia-Rodriguez, 33; and an unidentified male victim.
The unidentified man died as a result of the shooting, and the gunman was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Pryce said.
Idanerys Garcia-Rodriguez, who appeared to be the target, was in good condition at a hospital Saturday afternoon, Pryce said.
Pryce said reports that the unidentified man had tried to wrestle the gun away from Jose Garcia-Rodriguez were unconfirmed. The man’s connection to the married couple was being investigated.
About 100 people were inside the mall at the time of the shooting, and police quickly evacuated them and closed the shopping center for the day.
“It was crazy,” local resident Donna Evans said in a videotaped interview with the Florida Today newspaper. “All of a sudden, you just hear the ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop’.”
Pryce said three handguns were found at the scene, as well as the ammunition Jose Garcia-Rodriguez was carrying.
The mall is expected to reopen on Sunday.
(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Additional reporting and writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Alison Williams and James Dalgleish)