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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:50 PM

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Nashville Mall Reopens One Day After Deadly Shooting Kills One Inside Mall Thursday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - Opry Mills Mall will reopen to the public just one day after a man was shot and killed inside the shopping center.

The mall will open at 10 a.m., less than 24 hours after a 22-year-old man died following a dispute Thursday afternoon.

Metro police said the mall will have an increased police presence Friday to ensure the safety of shoppers and staff.

The victim, identified as Demarco Churchwell, suffered a neck injury and was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center in critical condition. He died a short time later.

After the shooting, police said the suspect - Justin Golson - left the mall and walked to the nearby ticket booth at the Opry House where he surrendered his gun and told someone to call police.

A retired California police officer was at the booth buying tickets and took possession of the gun. He told the accused gunman to lay on the grass and wait for police.

Police said the shooting appears to be the result of an ongoing dispute between the men.

Golson, who worked at a shoe shine kiosk in the mall, told detectives the feud had to do with him getting into a physical fight with a relative of Churchwell’s in March. Golson has been charged with criminal homicide.

"Indication this has been festering and it wasn't a spur of the moment thing," police spokesman Don Aaron said.

According to police, Golson said no gun was pulled on him, though officers did recover two pistols from the purse of Churchwell’s girlfriend after she was detained as part of the investigation.

She was later identified by police as 21-year-old Alexandria Lavender. She was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and theft of property.