Victim, suspect identified in Opry Mills shooting

Posted at 2:12 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 22:10:53-04

By Kevin Trager, WSMV

NASHVILLE, TN — Metro Police said one person died after being shot inside Opry Mills Mall after a dispute on Thursday afternoon.

Police said two or three people were involved in a physical dispute. One of the men fired at least two shots, striking the victim in the hallway across from the Old Navy store.

Police said Demarco Churchwell, 22, of Nashville, died after being taken to Skyline Medical Center. Police said the suspected shooter was Justin Golson, 22, of Antioch.

Police said the suspect fled the mall and ran to a ticket booth across the street near the Grand Ole Opry and placed the gun on the counter.

A retired California police officer was inside the ticket booth and ordered the suspect outside the building and ordered him to the ground until Metro Police arrived.

Golson was taken to Hermitage Precinct for questioning.

Opry Mills announced on Facebook that it would be closed on Thursday evening. It asked customers and mall employees to check back on Friday morning for updates.

The mall also issued a statement after the shooting.

“Opry Mills Management would like to take a moment to thank the swift and courageous response of the Nashville Police Department with respect to a situation that took place earlier today on our property. We are cooperating fully with investigators and offering any assistance we can. We would direct any additional questions regarding today’s incident to law enforcement.”

The Nashville Fire Department tweeted that the victim was transported to Skyline Medical Center.

Police are sweeping the mall as a precaution.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol was utilizing the parking lot at Bass Pro Shop for motorcycle training. Troopers immediately responded to assist the Metro Nashville Police Department.

The ATF has also responded to the scene as part of the investigation.

Police are in the process of evacuating the mall.

Metro Schools said three students were still inside the Academy at Opry Mills at the time of the shooting. Those students were evacuated to McGavock High. Five nearby elementary schools, Two Rivers, Pennington and McGavock elementaries, Stanford Montessori and Litton Middle, were placed on lockout due to the active shooting situation. Buses from those schools were also held. Metro Schools announced at 3:44 p.m. all students had been dismissed after the lockout status was lifted.

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