CRIME
12/25/2014 08:43 am ET Updated Dec 25, 2014

Christmas Eve Shooting Kills 1 At Louisiana Mall

WWLTV

Last-minute Christmas shopping turned to tragedy Wednesday evening when a man was shot and killed at a Louisiana mall.

Authorities with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office confirmed the identity of the victim as 24-year-old James Vaughn, WWLTV reports. The alleged gunman, 25-year-old Gary M. François, is in custody.

Previously from the Associated Press:

GRETNA, La. (AP) — A man who had just bought something at a suburban New Orleans shopping mall on Christmas Eve was shot to death at close range and a suspect was in custody, police said.

It happened about 4:21 p.m. Wednesday, less than two hours before the Oakwood Center mall in Gretna was scheduled to close for the holiday, said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.

The victim had just purchased something from Foot Locker and had turned from the cash register when a man walked to within three or four feet of him and began shooting, Normand said. No one else was injured.

"Obviously, based on witness accounts, he walked in with purpose of shooting this particular individual," Normand said when asked if the person was targeted.

The sheriff said at least three shots were fired and the man was pronounced dead on the scene.

The victim's name was not released pending notification of his family.

"In the aftermath of the shooting, there was bedlam in the mall," the sheriff said.

Mall security, deputies and Gretna police calmed everyone to make for an orderly evacuation, he said.

Normand said the shooter, whose name was withheld, was apprehended several blocks from the mall and is being questioned by authorities. No charges were immediately filed.

Normand said authorities were still questioning the man and that he likely would face a charge of second-degree murder.

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