Victim ID’d, suspect revealed after deadly shooting at mall in Ocala (2024)

Local News

40-year-old David Nathaniel Barron was killed, police say

Brandon Hogan, Digital Editor

James Sparvero, Reporter

Tags:Ocala, Paddock Mall, Marion County, Shooting, Fatal Shooting

OCALA, Fla. – Images shared Sunday by the Ocala Police Department show who investigators say is the suspect in a shooting at the Paddock Mall that left a man dead and a woman injured the day prior.

Initially described as an “active shooter situation,” officers who responded to the mall around 3:40 p.m. Saturday found that while there was no active shooter, a shooting did still occur inside of the building, according to a news release. A man who was found shot to death in a common area has since been identified by police as David Nathaniel Barron, 40, and the woman who was shot was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, the release states.

Cicely Robertson said Barron was her tattoo artist. She said friends called him, “Dirty.”

“Dirty was a nice person,” Robertson said. “He was loving, giving. He’d give you the shirt of his back. He always motivated you to do the right thing, always inspire you, take care of you, you know, somebody you could go and talk to.”

Police said that the shooter ran away, adding investigators believe the incident may have been targeted.

The Ocala Police Department extends our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and we are committed to bringing the perpetrator to justice.

Dec. 23, 2023 | Police Identify Victim of Paddock Mall Shooting (excerpt)

The department said in a statement Sunday afternoon that it had secured an arrest warrant for Albert J. Shell Jr., 39, regarding premeditated first-degree murder and attempted premeditated first-degree murder in the shooting. With this update came what appear to be two of Shell’s past mugshots, viewable at the top of this story.

[EXCLUSIVE: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s FREE) | PINIT! Share your photos]

Robertson said Barron was a father.

“It’s just sad that these kids have to go Christmas without their father,” she said.

Occurring two days before Christmas, a busy time for holiday shopping, “chaos erupted” at the mall when shots were fired; that’s what we heard from Syriah Williams, a witness at the scene who spoke with News 6 and recorded video on her cellphone after the shooting began.

Williams said that Bath & Body Works employees opened a back door to help people escape.

The mall was evacuated and closed as investigators worked the scene Saturday night, eventually opening the parking lots back up to allow people to retrieve their vehicles while businesses remained shuttered. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Ocala Fire Rescue, Marion County Fire Rescue and Florida Highway Patrol also responded to the shooting, according to the release.

News 6 obtained surveillance video from inside of the mall the moment gunfire breaks out. GRAPHIC WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised:

Another witness video obtained by News 6 on Sunday shows the chaos inside of the mall moments after the shooting.

In a social media post Sunday, Ocala police demanded that “the person who took the shooter’s red hat” come forward with the piece of clothing immediately. The department released the individual’s picture saying in part, “this person tampered with crucial evidence by taking the shooter’s red hat from the crime scene at the Paddock Mall. That hat may contain valuable DNA evidence.”

CAN YOU IDENTIFY? This person tampered with crucial evidence by taking the shooter's red hat from the crime scene at the Paddock Mall. That hat may contain valuable DNA evidence.

— Ocala Police (@ocalapd) December 25, 2023

This followed how the department shared surveillance stills early Sunday showing a man in a red hat, describing the man as a person of interest in the shooting.

Ocala police urge anyone who knows of Shell’s whereabouts to call 352-369-7000 or Crime Stoppers at 352-368-7867/**TIPS to remain anonymous. Additionally, anyone who recorded cellphone video at the scene is encouraged to send the footage to or 352-656-6137.

If you call OPD and tell us where he is and it leads to his arrest, we will pay you $5,000! Call 352-656-6137. Please, do not call that number for any other matter.

PLEASE SHARE! PADDOCK MALL MURDER SUSPECT | Ocala Police Department on Facebook, 3:32 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023

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About the Authors
Brandon Hogan

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.

James Sparvero

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


1 shot to death, 1 wounded inside Florida mall during Christmas shopping season

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Victim ID’d, suspect revealed after deadly shooting at mall in Ocala (2024)


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