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N.C. Shoppers Dive For Cover; Off-Duty Officer Kills Gunman

Authorities respond to the scene of a shooting at the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday.
Steve Reed
Authorities respond to the scene of a shooting at the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday.

Police in Charlotte, N.C., say an argument between two groups of people who knew each other led to the death of an armed suspect.

Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says a group of individuals with a history of feuding were at the Northlake Mall and got into an altercation shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday, and gunshots were fired.

An off-duty officer who was working at the mall heard the shots and responded to the scene, Putney says in a written statement.

Putney says the officer confronted an armed person who pointed a gun in his direction, and the officer then "fired his service weapon."

Authorities say the suspect, who was identified as 18-year-old Daquan Antonio Westbrook, was given emergency aid, but medics pronounced him dead shortly afterward.

Putney says the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. Names of those involved haven't been released.

Westbrook had a lengthy criminal record involving guns, drugs and violence, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Shopper Jake Wallace, 24, of Boone, N.C., was at the mall when he heard the commotion. He tells The Associated Press that "chaos erupted as shoppers dove for cover or tried to get out of the door."

The mall was closed after the shooting.

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Doreen McCallister