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Opry Mills shooting suspect charged with criminal homicide

The suspected gunman in a fatal shooting that occurred inside Opry Mills on Thursday afternoon has been charged with ...

Posted: May 4, 2018 3:47 PM
Updated: May 4, 2018 3:47 PM

The suspected gunman in a fatal shooting that occurred inside Opry Mills on Thursday afternoon has been charged with criminal homicide.

Justin Golson, 22, of Antioch, is accused of killing Demarco Churchwell, 22, of Nashville.

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

Churchwell was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center where he died from his injuries shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Police said Golson 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 booth. He reportedly ordered Golson to go outside the building and forced him to the ground until Metro police arrived.

Golson was then taken to the police station for questioning.

According to authorities, Golson, who worked at the mall at a shoe shining kiosk, knew Churchwell. He told police their feud originated from a fight with one of Churchwell's relatives back in March.

Golson said Churchwell did not threaten him with a gun; however, police did recover two pistols from Churchwell's girlfriend, Alexandria Lavender.

Lavender, 21, was detained during the investigation. A witness reported seeing a gun inside Lavender's purse at the mall. Officers said they detained Lavender when she was slow to stop for officers at the mall. According to police, Lavender did not have a valid handgun permit. The weapon, a loaded 9mm Glock, was reportedly stolen from Davidson County. Lavender is charged with theft of property - $1,000 or less and possession of a weapon.

Opry Mills announced on Facebook that it would be closed on Thursday evening. They later tweeted that they'll open Friday morning for normal business hours. There will be an increased police presence at the mall, but police maintain that this was an isolated incident.

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 TriStar Skyline Medical Center.

Police swept the mall as a precaution, and many other law enforcement officials were on scene. In fact, 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.

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 School. 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 703345

Reported Deaths: 13194
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion959691716
Lake51222940
Allen38926670
Hamilton34288404
St. Joseph33770539
Elkhart27117431
Vanderburgh22034393
Tippecanoe21671212
Johnson17451374
Porter17206297
Hendricks16735310
Clark12657190
Madison12302337
Vigo12155244
Monroe11385166
LaPorte10800204
Delaware10312184
Howard9617211
Kosciusko9068113
Hancock7939139
Bartholomew7854153
Warrick7675155
Floyd7542176
Wayne6880198
Grant6773170
Boone6524100
Morgan6370138
Dubois6071117
Marshall5753108
Dearborn568075
Cass5671102
Henry5563100
Noble537983
Jackson492369
Shelby477795
Lawrence4332118
Gibson427389
Harrison426570
Montgomery416486
Clinton416053
DeKalb406684
Huntington376980
Whitley375539
Miami371465
Knox365389
Steuben362657
Putnam351960
Wabash346677
Jasper346146
Adams337652
Ripley333368
Jefferson311579
White307354
Daviess288899
Wells285180
Decatur278592
Fayette277062
Greene270385
Posey268333
Scott260553
Clay252244
LaGrange251470
Randolph234480
Washington230431
Spencer227431
Jennings224647
Fountain207745
Sullivan207342
Starke201952
Owen191856
Fulton190839
Carroll185620
Jay185529
Perry179536
Orange176553
Rush170324
Vermillion165743
Franklin165435
Tipton160943
Parke143816
Blackford132831
Pike130134
Pulaski113145
Newton102934
Brown99640
Crawford97014
Benton96213
Martin82415
Warren78915
Switzerland7698
Union69610
Ohio55511
Unassigned0405

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1048109

Reported Deaths: 18917
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1217031352
Cuyahoga1063982060
Hamilton779451165
Montgomery49883989
Summit45144907
Lucas39826760
Butler37638568
Stark31348894
Lorain24090472
Warren23835291
Mahoning20822583
Lake19915362
Clermont19397228
Delaware17972130
Licking16089206
Fairfield15646196
Trumbull15521459
Medina14815259
Greene14613236
Clark13576288
Wood12709184
Portage12313194
Allen11303229
Richland11017198
Miami10511212
Muskingum8688127
Wayne8543209
Columbiana8527226
Pickaway8421120
Marion8360135
Tuscarawas8359239
Erie7540153
Ross6692145
Hancock6683123
Geauga6527146
Ashtabula6458164
Scioto6280100
Belmont5591158
Union556247
Lawrence5458102
Jefferson5283147
Huron5270113
Darke5264121
Sandusky5164119
Seneca5093118
Washington5074107
Athens499454
Auglaize474884
Mercer470384
Shelby455089
Knox4371108
Madison421058
Putnam420298
Ashland412086
Fulton407966
Defiance399996
Crawford3858100
Brown385555
Logan372276
Preble369598
Clinton359659
Ottawa355478
Highland346059
Williams323274
Champaign318556
Jackson306951
Guernsey305848
Perry289349
Fayette276948
Morrow274439
Hardin263563
Henry263166
Coshocton258257
Holmes252699
Van Wert238662
Gallia233246
Pike232431
Adams227552
Wyandot226353
Hocking208958
Carroll188947
Paulding168538
Meigs141438
Noble132737
Monroe128841
Morgan106423
Harrison105336
Vinton81414
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Fort Wayne
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Temperatures start to climb back up on Friday as we'll see mostly sunny skies return to northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
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