Florida man charged with murder in fatal mall shooting packed with last-minute Christmas shoppers

OCALA, Fla. — Police arrested a 39-year-old man early Monday on a murder charge in what appeared to be a targeted shooting at a Florida mall that also wounded a bystander and sent panicked last-minute Christmas shoppers scrambling for safety.

Acting on tips that poured in since the Dec. 23 shooting at Paddock Mall, officers surrounded a north Florida home around 1 a.m. Monday, Ocala police Chief Mike Balken said during a news conference. They negotiated with Albert Shell Jr. for about two hours before he was taken into custody without incident, he said, sharing a body cam video showing a shirtless Shell walking out of the house and surrendering to officers.

Shell was taken to the Marion County Jail in Ocala on charges of premeditated first-degree murder in the killing of David Nathaniel Barron, 40, and attempted premeditated first-degree murder for shooting an innocent bystander in the leg, the chief said. Court records did not list an attorney for Shell.

The chief did not expand on a relationship between Barron and Shell, other than to say they possibly had worked together.

“No reason to believe this was anything other than a beef between two individuals that was resolved in a mall with a gun,” Balken said.

He thanked the United States Marshals Service, specifically the Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for their help, and said increasing the reward for information leading to an arrest to $20,000 likely helped solve the case.