Melbourne Square Mall reopens after fatal shooting

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MELBOURNE, Fla. - The Melbourne Square Mall reopened at 12 p.m. Sunday after police said a man barged in the mall the day before and opened fire.

The gunman shot his wife, before fatally shooting another man and himself.

During a press conference, police identified the shooter as Jose Garcia-Rodriguez, 57, and said he shot his wife, Ida Garcia-Rodriguez, 33, and a man, who was not identified.

Ida Garcia-Rodriguez, who worked at the mall, was hospitalized and listed in good condition.

The unidentified man died, police said.

They said Jose Garcia-Rodriguez died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

Multiple shots were fired and the shooter had several pockets full of ammunition, police said. Three handguns were recovered at the scene.

Melbourne police closed the mall for the remainder of the day.

About 100 people were inside the mall when the gunfire erupted near the entrance of the food court.

Police said multiple agencies responded to the scene at about 9:30 a.m. and shots were still being fired as they arrived.

“We were putting our merchandise out in Kay Jewelers and all the sudden we heard these really loud bangs. Like eight of them. It was definitely gunshots. People were running through the mall and stuff, and trying to see what’s going on,” said mall employee Cody Jones. “I saw two people shot when I walked outside the entrance.”

Officers rushed from store to store and began to evacuate shoppers and mall employees.

Witnesses said they began running for cover as soon as the first shots rang out.

"You don't keep your cool. You're just automatically reacting. Your feet are just going and your legs are running," said witness Elizabeth Tickle.

Tickle and Donna Evans, another witness, were together in the food court when the shots rang out.

“All I could think of was to get behind this metal door (or) get in the concrete corridor,” Evans said. “We were trying to get people. Everybody was just stunned.”

Evans said she and other shoppers were worried the gunman would follow them as they tried to run.

Police have not said what relationship the unidentified victim had to the shooter and Ida Garcia-Rodriguez.

“The first thing I’d like to do is express my deepest concern and condolences to the families tragically affected today,” said Chief Steve Mimbs of the Melbourne Police Department.

A bomb squad was called to the scene to investigate a car in the parking lot of the mall, but nothing suspicious was found.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office bomb squad also investigated Garcia Rodriguez’s Palm Bay home as a precaution.

Officers said an active shooter situation is an area they train for, but hope will never happen.

"We put our active shooter teams together. Our active shooter teams did enter the mall. We discovered one gentleman that is the suspect, one victim and another victim," said Cmdr. Vince Pryce of the Melbourne Police Department.

Jose Garcia-Rodriguez’s neighbor, Nick Csercse, said the two used to do yard work together and he never suspected anything was wrong.

“I would have never put it in his hand to pull the trigger. He loved his wife,” Csercse said.

Csercse was interviewed by police and told them Ida Garcia-Rodriguez hadn’t been living at the house in the past few weeks.

“I assumed they must have been having issues,” he said. “They’ve been very good neighbors, quiet. Making a living selling ice cream. “

It does not appear Jose Garcia-Rodriguez and his wife of 16 years, were in the middle of a divorce.

Police have not given a motive for the shooting.

Any witnesses are asked to call 321-608-6731 to give a statement.

Officials with the mall said it will be open normal Sunday hours.