Joshua Jamal Williams was identified as the shooter who allegedly opened fire at the Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metarie, Louisiana, according to Nola.com.
The shooting occurred just before 3 p.m. Saturday, February 20, 2021. Sheriffs deputies were called to the scene at 6719 Airline Drive and found three people dead and two injured. The two injured people were taken to a local hospital, where they were listed in stable condition in the hours after the shooting.
Metarie is a suburb of New Orleans.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Said Williams Was One of the Three People Who Were Pronounced Dead on the Scene
— HargiHero📷🕵️♀️🐧🐈🎶🎸 (@HargiHero) February 21, 2021
Williams died on the scene of the shooting, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto.
“At this time, it appears a suspect shot two victims inside the location, then was engaged and shot outside the location by multiple other individuals,” Lopinto said Saturday evening. “The suspect is one of the deceased on the scene.”
Deputies said they found five people with gunshot wounds. Three of those people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two additional victims were injured and transported to a local hospital. The hospitalized victims were in stable condition soon after the shooting.
2. Williams Got Into an Argument With a Clerk at Jefferson Gun Outlet for Having His Gun Unholstered Outside the Shooting Range
Cops respond to shooting with ‘multiple deaths’ n Louisiana – Daily Mail #Metarie https://t.co/vpvsj6my0q
— TEK LIFE MEDIA GROUP (@TekLifeMG) February 20, 2021
In the moments that led up to the shooting, Lopinto said, Williams entered the facility with a loaded gun that was unholstered. A Jefferson Gun Outlet employee told him he could not have a loaded gun unholstered outside the gun range, and an argument broke out.
Williams began firing shots, officials said, and then he “was engaged” and shot outside of the facility.
Nola.com described the shooting scene:
Two shields, typically used to block the view of bodies, were set up in the parking lot. A person’s motionless hand was visible at the edge, and a pistol with an extended magazine lay nearby on the ground. In a folding chair about 15 feet away sat a woman crying, ‘Josh, this is Momma. I love you.’
3. Lopinto Said There Were Multiple Shooters at the Scene & Authorities Were Still Trying to Piece Together the Information Saturday Night
3 killed, 2 hospitalized after argument at Jefferson Gun Outlet leads to shots fired – WDSU New Orleans https://t.co/ODDHlE4o1N v
— Latino Political Ave (@LatPoliticalAve) February 21, 2021
Lopinto described a complicated scene in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, saying he believed there were multiple shooters.
He said in a press conference:
This is a developing scene. I will be brief on what I can give you at the time. We had one initial shooter at the scene, who hit two victims inside the location. Both of them have been pronounced deceased here at this location.
It appears several individuals engaged the original suspect, whether inside the location or out here in the parking lot. We have a total of three deceased including the two that were inside. Out here on the scene itself, we have two additional that were hit by gunfire and were transported to University Hospital where I am told they are in stable condition at this point in time.
From what I understand I have multiple shooters at this location that were either customers, employees or individuals here at the location itself and we are trying to put it all together and piece it together from what we have in this developing scene.
Jefferson Gun Outlet Has 14 Shooting Lanes & Machine Gun Rentals in Addition to a Sales Area
3 dead, 2 others hurt in shooting at Louisiana gun store | 3h ago
– Police were called to the Jefferson Gun Outlet in a suburb of New Orleans just before 3 p.m. When police arrived, they found multiple people had been shot. https://t.co/K9REhGaCKh
— Graviola Finland (@GraviolaDOTfi) February 21, 2021
Jefferson Gun Outlet is a location that hosts both a shooting range and gun sales. Customers can also rent machine guns at the location. There are 14 shooting lanes at the shop and shooting range.
“Jefferson Gun Outlet is a full-service retail firearms store specializing in a large selection of self-defense pistols, shotguns, and rifles,” the shop’s Facebook page says. “We have a variety of reloading supplies, holsters, and accessories to satisfy the most discriminating shopping list. In addition to our retail operations, Jefferson Gun offers law enforcement officer, agency, and contract sales for Glock, Smith & Wesson, Beretta, and Rock River. We also have a 14 lane shooting range on site with full-auto machine gun rentals available.”
The rentals also include “themed” shooting experiences.
The website clearly states that anyone entering the facility with a gun must be carrying it safely.
“If you are arriving with a firearm, it must be unloaded, holstered or boxed, and safe,” the website says. “Violators will be asked to promptly leave the facility. Also, our range is for PISTOL CALIBER AMMUNITION/WEAPONS ONLY! We do not offer lanes for non-pistol caliber rifles or shotguns. Rifle Caliber Firearms that are not owned by Jefferson Indoor Range are not allowed in the facility. Jefferson Indoor Range reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at anytime for any reason.”
5.Twitter Users Responded With Shock to the Shooting at the Jefferson Gun Outlet
Shocked. Utterly shocked.
— GREGOR CLEGANE ☭ (@timetogomobile_) February 20, 2021
Twitter users were shocked at the shooting and reacted with dismay at the news.
“Shocked. Utterly shocked,” one person wrote on Twitter in response to the shooting.
— Jim (@CSMUSArmy) February 20, 2021
Another person wrote that they used to live in the area.
There’s been a mass shooting at a gun rage in Metairie, near where I used to live. Multiple deaths reported. Holyshit.
— Rose Sinister (@rose_sinister) February 20, 2021
“There’s been a mass shooting at a gun rage in Metairie, near where I used to live,” she wrote. “Multiple deaths reported. Holys***.”
Reporter Shay O’Connor shared a video from the scene.
“Here at the scene of where JPSO says multiple shootings just took place here at the Jefferson Gun Outlet. At least one dead,” she wrote on Twitter. “We are working to find out details on the situation. Watch @wdsu at 5P.”