Demarco Churchwell Killed in Opry Mills Mall Shooting

Demarco Churchwell, a 22-year-old man, was shot and killed inside the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, Tennessee, a murder that sparked panic after reports of an active shooter. The Metro Nashville Police Department released a photo of the gun used and said the 22-year-old alleged gunman, named as Justin Golson, was in custody.

“The man fatally wounded in Opry Mills Mall is Demarco Churchwell, 22, of Nashville (left). The suspected shooter is Justin Golson, 22, of Antioch (right). He is in custody and being interviewed,” police alleged.

Authorities contend that the shooting “was preceded by a physical altercation between the two.” Police added that the shooting appears to “have been the result of an ongoing dispute between 2 males…The suspected gunman left the mall building and immediately surrendered.”

The Nashville Fire Department also confirmed that one person was wounded at the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, Tennessee amid reports of an active shooter. “Our personnel is on scene at Opry Mills Mall. One patient transported to Vanderbilt in Critical Condition,” the Fire Department tweeted early on, but the victim later died.

“Dispute at Opry Mills Mall results in gunfire,” Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted. “One person shot. Suspected shooter in custody. No additional imminent threat known. Mall being swept by MNPD officers as a precaution.”

The Fire Department later confirmed that the single victim was a male after initial reports had indicated a female victim.

“…No other gun shot victims reported,” The Fire Department reported, debunking social media reports that a child was wounded and that there were more victims.

The earliest reports varied when it came to reporting the number of people shot, ranging from one to four, although both the police and fire departments later confirmed only one person was injured. “Update: patient is en route to skyline hospital. No other patients right now. A reported second patient was false,” The Nashville Fire Department wrote. Authorities confirmed a shooting had occurred inside the mall, CBS News reported.

“Police just evacuated the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville due to a shooting. Regal Opry Mills 20 movie theater evacuated, police and helicopters outside. #Nashville,” local reporter David O’Brien wrote on Twitter from the scene. “Cops with patrol rifles everywhere. Dozens of police cars, marked and unmarked.”

Early reports had said as many as four people may have been shot in the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, Tennessee on May 3, 2018, as news of a possible active shooter spread on social media, sparking a panic. However, other reports put the number of wounded as a single person down in an Old Navy store. Authorities had not yet verified the location of the shooting, the motive, or information on victim or suspect.

The number of people shot was reported as four by WSMV-TV; according to the television station, multiple 911 calls flooded into police reporting a shooting. It’s common in active shooter and shooting situations for reports to be confusing at first and details contradictory.

However, although the earliest reports of those wounded varied, one reporter was quickly referring to one person being down. There were reports of people hiding in storage rooms as active shooter reports spread. The reports were just breaking and the details fluid.

NC5 reporter Jason Lamb reported that a victim was wounded in the Old Navy store in the Nashville mall. “CONFIRMED from Nashville Fire Dept: Call went out as an active shooter at opry mills. One person down at Old Navy. Suspect on the loose. @NC5,” he wrote on Twitter as news of the shooting broke in the afternoon of May 3. However, it later turned out that the shooting occurred “outside the Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Lids stores” in the mall, according to The Tennesseean.

A report indicated the shooting came in around 2 p.m. and a ramp was closed. Reporter Sarah McCarthy of NC5 also reported on Twitter that the shooting reports centered on the Old Navy store.

“#BREAKING: There has been a shooting at Opry Mills Mall. We’re hearing reports of at least one person down at Old Navy. Callers tell us customers are being told to shelter in place and stay away from the entrance. @NC5 has broken into coverage to keep you updated,” she wrote.

One woman wrote on Twitter about seeing multiple ambulances rush to the scene. “over 40 police surrounding opry mills majority being undercover and they have both exits blocked off to get to the mall. There are also about 10 ambulance that I’ve seen pass me on the interstate to get to the exit. Hopefully it wasn’t a shooting or any lives lost,” she wrote.

This post will be updated as more is learned about the purported active shooter situation.

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