Melbourne Square Open, Police Continue Shooting Probe
By Space Coast Daily // January 18, 2015
MALL BACK IN BUSINESS, OPENED AT NOON SUNDAY
Investigators Believe Domestic Dispute May Have Lead To Deadly Shooting At Mall
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Melbourne Square mall opened on schedule at 12 noon on Sunday, a day after a man walked into the food court with three handguns and shot his wife and her co-worker, before turning the gun on himself.
The shooting happened around 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning at the mall located at 1770 West New Haven Avenue.
Melbourne Police Commander and spokesman Vince Pryce identified the suspected shooter as Jose Garcia Rodriguez, 57, of Palm Bay, Florida.
Among the victims was Rodriguez’s wife, 33-year-old Ida Garcia, of Palm Bay, who is listed in good condition at the hospital.
The male victim, who died of his wounds, has not been identified at this time. According to witnesses, he was a co-worker of Garcia, and shot dead trying to stop Rodriguez.
According to police, Rodriguez shot Garcia and the male victim before shooting himself dead.
In addition to the three handguns, Rodriguez had his pockets full of ammo, according to police. He fired at least 10 rounds, according to a store manager at Journeys who witnessed the incident.
ABOVE VIDEO: Melbourne Police Chief Steve Mimbs provides an update during a press conference about the shooting at Melbourne Square Mall on Saturday morning.
The police began receiving 9-1-1 calls that reported shots fired on Saturday morning about 9:30 a.m., immediately locked the mall down, and store employees were instructed to exit the mall through their rear entrances.
In addition to the Melbourne Police Department, law enforcement agencies on scene included the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, West Melbourne Police Department and the Palm Bay Police Department.
According to Rodriguez’s Facebook page, he was married to Garcia for 16 years, and investigators believe a domestic dispute may have lead to shooting his estranged wife.
The first store to open at Melbourne Square in 1982 was Ivey’s, with J. C. Penney and Jordan Marsh as the other two anchors at the time.
The Melbourne Square mall is now owned by Washington Prime Group, Inc. which owns and manages 98 regional shopping centers and community lifestyle centers across the U.S.
The mall is anchored by Macy’s, Dillard’s North and South, JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and features more than 125 additional specialty stores including Victoria’s Secret, White House Black Market, American Eagle Outfitters, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bath & Body Works and GapKids.
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