California mall shooting victim was the gunman’s ex-wife, police say

A person is dead and a suspected gunman is in critical condition after a shooting at the Oaks Mall (above) in California on Saturday, an official said.

(Google Maps)

A man arguing with his ex-wife at a Southern California mall before fatally shooting her, then turning the gun on himself — and frightening weekend shoppers.

Update on the #HillcrestIncident: confirmed DOA and a person who is transported by ambulance. Incident is static, VC Sheriff has outline command and control. @VCFD

— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) March 17, 2018

The shooter, who was hospitalized in critical condition, went to a store in the Oaks mall in the city of Thousand Oaks, ca 40 km west of Los Angeles. While there, he argued with the 30-year-old victim for recording her, police said.

It was not immediately clear why they had a fight, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

The police responded to the call of a shooting at the Oaks Mall around 2 p.m. local time. According To Capt. Garo Kuredjian, public information officer for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, a female victim was dead when the police arrived and a male victim was transported to a hospital with a gunshot wound.

TOaks the Police at the scene of a shooting at the Oaks Mall. The situation is contained and there is no threat to the public.

— Thousand Oaks Sta. (@toaksvcso) March 17, 2018

The suspect was reportedly seen behind the woman, police said, adding that the separated couple’s children were found safe.

Every store on slot on the Thousand Oaks mall ??♂️

— A. Bee (@ayybayyybae) March 17, 2018

Jeffrey Simpson, 17, was shopping with his mother when an announcement came over the mall intercom about a threat outside the shopping centre.

#HillcrestIncident Oaks Mall, clients are advised they can go to @VCFD fire station 30 across the street for a safety zone.

— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) March 17, 2018

“I went to Nordstrom to get pants, and the next thing I know, the doors are closed,” Simpson said, adding that he and his mother were “a bit shaken”, but OK. The police kept the shoppers in the mall for more than an hour, but the buyers were free to move and staff were in helping people stay comfortable and quiet.

Matt Lemieux told the newspaper that he, with the help of his computer inside a coffee shop, when he suddenly saw “a whole group of people” running by.

“It was eerie,” he said.

Los Angeles-area gunman, 33, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, the Ventura County Star newspaper.

Evacuating people from the mall were asked to go to a fire station on the other side of the street for the safety. The Thousand Oaks police tweeted that the “situation is contained and there is no threat to the public.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

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