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A gunman opened fire at a Florida mall Saturday morning, killing one mall employee and injuring another in what police called a "domestic situation" that sent scores of people scrambling for the exits, authorities said. The gunman is believed to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police in Melbourne said the gunman — identified as 57-year-old Jose Garcia-Rodriguez — shot his wife, 33-year-old Idanerys Garcia-Rodriguez, who works at the food court at the Melbourne Square Mall. She was listed in good condition at a hospital Saturday afternoon. The deceased victim, also a food court worker, was identified Sunday as Leonardo Coppola, 36.
Authorities responded to the shopping center after receiving calls around 9:30 a.m. ET. While the mall wasn't officially open yet, workers were setting up for the day and people who use the mall to exercise in the mornings were already there. The scene of the shooting — near the mall's food court — was controlled about an hour later, NBC affiliate WESH reported. Police said in a tweet that officers had "contained" the shooter before 10:40 a.m., and officers cleared the mall in a store-by-store search. Police said they found three revolver-type guns at the scene.
In a statement on Facebook, mall officials said they were closing the shopping center but expected to reopen Sunday. "We are still gathering information as the police conduct their investigation," the statement said.
Cathy Wright, an employee at a Starbucks in the food court, told NBC News that she heard “about three or four gunshots” in “rapid succession.” Mall security told her, as well as another employee and two customers, to remain in the store, she said.
Jeff Gross, who works at the Rodizio Grill in the mall, said he was in the kitchen of the restaurant when he heard five or six shots. His co-worker was working in the front of the restaurant, ran to the kitchen and said, "There's a shooting, we have to get out."
They went through the back entrance to get outside. About five minutes later, Gross added, he saw two victims being brought through the main entrance. "Everything is done with as far as danger," Gross later said.