Shooter kills man in Louisiana mall on Christmas Eve

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 24, 2014 11:09 PM

(Reuters) - A gunman opened fire inside a New Orleans-area mall still busy with shoppers on Christmas eve, killing a man before he was taken into custody, police said on Wednesday.

Gary François, 25, fired multiple shots at 24-year-old James Vaughn, who had just made a purchase at a Foot Locker store inside the Oakwood Center in Gretna on Wednesday afternoon, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Vaughn died at the scene, and François was arrested without incident after fleeing the area. No one else was injured in the shooting, the sheriff's office said.

Officials said they believed François deliberately targeted Vaughn, as surveillance video showed the gunman waiting outside the store before entering the shop and killing him.

Local broadcaster WWL-TV said the shooting prompted shoppers still buying last-minute gifts for the holidays to scatter in fear.

"I've seen a lot of people running and policeman coming in like it was in Cambodia or something, like a war," customer Paul Horton told WWL-TV.

The shopping center was set to close roughly an hour and a half after the shooting took place, according to the mall's website.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)