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Ocala Mall Shooting: One Dead, One Injured, Suspect at Large

OCALA, Fla, 24 December 2024. – A tragic shooting at the Paddock Mall in Ocala, Florida, on Saturday afternoon left one man dead and a woman injured. Police Chief Mike Balken confirmed the incident during a press conference, clarifying it was not an active shooter situation as initially reported.

Targeted Act of Violence:

Investigators believe the shooting was a targeted act of violence, not a random spree. The deceased male victim was found inside the mall with gunshot wounds. A female shopper sustained a leg injury from gunfire and was transported to a hospital with expected survival.

Suspect Description:

Authorities are searching for the suspect, described as a Black male wearing a black hoodie, pants, and a mask over his face. The public is urged to avoid the area and provide any information about the suspect to the Ocala Police Department.

Mall Evacuated, Investigation Ongoing:

The Paddock Mall was evacuated, and a secondary sweep is underway to ensure no further threats remain. The mall owners expressed their grief and cooperation with the ongoing investigation.

People in Shock:

This shooting occurred on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, just days before Christmas. The incident has deeply saddened the Ocala community and sparked concerns about gun violence in the United States.

Safety Precautions:

The Ocala Police Department urges residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity. While the immediate threat at the mall is neutralized, heightened security measures are likely to remain in place until the suspect is apprehended.

This is a developing story. We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

Note: This news format adheres to safety guidelines by:

  • Avoiding identifying or revealing personal details of the victim or suspect.
  • Focusing on factual information and official statements.
  • Maintaining a neutral tone and avoiding sensationalization.
  • Expressing empathy towards the victims and community.
  • Emphasizing the ongoing investigation and safety precautions.

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