• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Arrest made in deadly pre-Christmas Florida mall shooting

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Police in the Central Florida city of Ocala announced overnight Monday that they and federal marshals arrested the man they’d been seeking in the fatal shooting of another man in a mall on Dec. 23, 2023. They said Albert J. Shell Jr., 39, was the gunman in an apparently targeted killing.

Shell was wanted on charges of premeditated first-degree murder and attempted premeditated first-degree murder, Ocala police said. The department was offering an initial $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. 

The suspect fled the scene on foot and left the gun behind, Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken said during a news briefing at the time.

The shooting occurred in a “common area” of the Paddock Mall at about 3:40 p.m. local time, Balken said. A man identified as 40-year-old David Nathaniel Barron was killed and a woman suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. 

Albert J. Shell Jr.
Police put out an arrest warrant for suspect Albert J. Shell Jr. in the Ocala, Fla. mall shooting. 

Ocala, Florida police


Several other people at the mall suffered injuries during the shooting, police said. One person reported chest pain and another reported a broken arm. 

Police said the shooter was wearing a red hat. The day after the  shooting, officials said someone had taken the hat from the scene. 

“That hat may contain valuable DNA evidence, and we need it back,” Ocala police said. “We urge you to do the right thing and come forward immediately. Time is of the essence.” 

The Ocala Police Department said if the hat was not returned quickly, police would release a picture of the individual who took it. They said the person who took the hat would be arrested on a felony charge of tampering with evidence.

There was no word Monday on whether the hat had been recovered.

Ocala is about 80 miles northwest of Orlando.



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