NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – A gunman killed another man inside Nashville’s Opry Mills Mall on Thursday and then immediately surrendered, police said.
Police said in a tweet that the two men appeared to have had an ongoing dispute before one shot the other inside the mall.
The suspected gunman gave up his weapon and surrendered, and the victim later died, police spokesman Don Aaron said.
The gunfire in such a crowded place prompted an outsized response. Authorities said the mall was evacuated, the adjacent Grand Ole Opry House and convention center were put on lockdown, police officers responded in force, and at least a half a dozen ambulances converged on the scene.
Jayla Chapple, 18, was in an employee meeting in the back of Moe’s Southwest Grill when two people rushed in saying there was a shooter in the mall. Chapple, a shift leader at the restaurant, said the employees started running outside through the rear exit.
“I really didn’t have time to think that much, but get out of there,” she said.
Troopers happened to be doing motorcycle training in the mall’s parking lot at the time, so they set up a perimeter to support the responding police officers, Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Miller said.
Metro Nashville Police said in a tweet Thursday that there was no further threat, but officers were sweeping through the mall to make sure.
Tonya Young said she raced to the scene when she heard about the shooting because her 17-year-old daughter, Victoria Holt, works at one of the shops.
She later learned that her daughter was unhurt, but remained stuck inside while officers did their work.
“Until I physically lay eyes on her, I’m not going to be ok,” Young said. “I want to see her; I want to get to her.”
The mall was built on the former site of the Opryland USA theme park. With more than 200 stores, it is Tennessee’s biggest outlet mall, featuring a movie theater, a celebrity wax figure museum, restaurants and more.
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