PINEVILLE, NC (WBTV) - A person shot and killed by an employee at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville Sunday afternoon has been identified as 24-year-old Khali Amir Holmes of Charlotte, the Pineville Police Department said Monday.
The deadly shooting happened in the DTLR store. Officials reported that the shooting was the result of an argument between a DTLR employee and Holmes.
“At this time, criminal charges have not been filed, therefore we will not release the name of our shooting suspect right now,” FBI officials said Monday.
The act was not random, officials say.
“This mall is a pretty safe mall, but the environment that retail is, it is not surprising,” said Bethany Minton, who used to work at Carolina Place Mall. “You can definitely tell that there is more security walking around. There is the security guard in the parking lot.”
Minton went inside the mall Monday.
“There are more people standing next to DTLR today,” said Minton. “Being a retail employee is not as safe as people think that it is.”
“I’ve never felt unsafe being here so it’s just a shame that this happens because it does make you wonder,” said John O’Sullivan, a Carolina Place Mall shopper.
O’Sullivan says he was wondering what all the commotion was about at Carolina Place Mall when he got there around noon Sunday.
“When we got here I’m assuming the incident had just occurred because there was a fleet of Carolina Place security as well as Pineville,” said O’Sullivan.
Police were called to the mall following the shooting but Holmes was found dead on the scene.
The employee turned himself in and is currently considered the primary suspect in this investigation. Police believe the conflict was the result of an “ongoing feud.”
“This is a very unfortunate event between two people who had an ongoing dispute that escalated to the highest degree today,” said Lieutenant Corey Copley of Pineville Police Department.
“They shut down pretty much that whole end of the mall," said O’Sullivan. "They even told merchants to go ahead and close up shop so a lot of stores just closed for the day.”
Guns are not allowed at the mall and police are currently looking into how the employee had the gun at work.
"It’s sad. This is a family mall. Whether it’s two people who know each other, it’s just very very sad that a place like this on a Sunday afternoon where just everybody’s out with their family doing some shopping,” said O’Sullivan.
Authorities believe this was an isolated incident, so the mall will reopen as usual on Monday.
Police say interviews remain open and ongoing with the suspect, many witnesses and DTLR employees.
“I mean as a mom, you do not want to hear that. You have the soft play in there, you want to feel comfortable with them. It is something to do in the afternoon especially when you have little ones like I do,” said Nikki Formby, who was at the mall on Monday. “I feel like now I have to triple and double check everything because I don’t even feel comfortable taking my kids.”
Officials say Carolina Place Mall is open and back to business as usual and that mall security staff assisted Pineville Police. Officers say Carolina Place Mall remains a safe place for everyone.