Gunman dead after Christmas Eve Shooting at US Mall

25 December 2015
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A gunman is dead after an argument sparked an officer-involved shooting on Thursday at the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was packed with last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve, police in the US said.

The incident started as a fight between two groups at the mall around 2 PM local time, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said. Officers responded, and an armed man, identified by police as Daquan Westbrook, was shot during the altercation, police said.

“This was not an active shooter situation,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said during a news conference this evening.
Westbrook died at the scene, police said, noting that no officers were injured.

Police said that Westbrook fired the gun during the fight.

The police department had a veteran off-duty officer who heard multiple gunshots and responded, Putney said, noting the decision to evacuate the busy mall was based on conversations with mall security.

When the officer got there, he found a gunman who pointed the gun at the officer, Putney said. The officer then discharged his weapon and the gunman was pronounced dead on the scene. That officer is now on paid administrative leave, Putney said.

Multiple weapons were found on the scene, Putney said, and the mall remained closed as of this evening.

There was no evidence that the violence was gang related, and early indications point to an ongoing dispute between two people, Putney said.

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