Police shoot a gunman dead at a North Carolina mall. (file photo)
An off-duty police officer has fatally shot a gun-toting man at a shopping mall in the US State of North Carolina.
The gunman died after an argument sparked the officer to shoot him at the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was packed with last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve, police said.
The incident started as a fight between two groups at the mall around 2 p.m., according to abcnews.
“This was not an active shooter situation,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said during a news conference on Thursday evening.
The man identified as Daquan Westbrook died at the scene, police said, noting that no officers were injured.
They said Westbrook fired the gun during the fight.
The police department had a veteran off-duty officer who heard multiple gunshots and responded, Putney said, noting the decision to evacuate the busy mall was based on conversations with mall security.
When the officer got there, he found a gunman who pointed the gun at the officer, Putney said. The officer then discharged his weapon and the gunman was pronounced dead on the scene. That officer is now on paid administrative leave, Putney said.
Multiple weapons were found on the scene, Putney said, and the mall remained closed as of this evening.
There was no evidence that the violence was gang related, and early indications point to an ongoing dispute between two people there.