METAIRIE, La. — Three people were killed and at least two people were injured after a shooting at a Louisiana gun shop and range Saturday afternoon.
Update 5:15 p.m. ET Feb. 21: Louisiana authorities have identified the gunman and two victims killed during a Saturday shootout at the Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie.
Officials told NOLA.com that the deadly incident began when 27-year-old Joshua Jamal Williams of New Orleans carried a pistol with an extended clip into the gun shop and shooting range, where staff told him to unload his weapon.
According to police, Williams fired a warning round before fatally shooting 47-year-old store clerk Herbert “Noah” Fischbach. Customer Veronica Billot, 59, of Belle Chasse was also mortally wounded in the shootout, the outlet reported.
In an emailed statement to NOLA.com, Michael Mayer, an executive at the gun outlet, defended Fischbach’s actions.
“What I can say, is that our store was attacked by Joshua Williams on (Feb. 20) around 3 p.m. He walked in our store and was asked by our compliance officer to unload his firearm before entering,” Mayer wrote, adding, “(Williams) became agitated by the request and pulled his gun out of his pants and started firing. Our armed and trained employees, as well as some armed, permitted customers, returned fire and eliminated the threat. One customer as well as one employee perished in the gun battle. Joshua Williams, the gunman, is also dead.”
Click here to learn more about Fischbach.
Original report: The deaths and injuries at the Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie were confirmed by Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto, WDSU reported.
Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said two men and a woman were killed, NOLA.com reported. He did not reveal their names.
“This is a developing scene. I will be brief on what I can give you at the time,” Lopinto said at a news conference. “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.”
Jefferson Gun Outlet’s website calls the business “the premier firearms outlet for the Greater New Orleans Area.” It has a 14-lane, 25-yard indoor firing range, NOLA.com reported.
According to WDSU, a man got into an argument with a clerk, who said he should not have a loaded gun until he entered the range area. Shots were fired after at least two customers at the range became involved, the television station reported.
Shots were fired at that point, officials said.
Dozens of officers converged on the shop at about 3:30 p.m. MT, NOLA.com reported.