A woman shot in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday afternoon has died from a gun shot wound.
The AP reports that the victim, identified as Violet Lambert, 55, of Atlanta died at WellStar Kennestone Hospital, according to police. Witnesses said she had been shot in the eye.
On Tuesday morning, police said the suspected shooter, identified as Danny Wray Brown, 59, of East Point was later found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Brown allegedly fired shots at a good Samaritan who tried to help the woman, but missed.
A man and a woman were involved in an alteration minutes before the shooting outside Cumberland Mall in northwest Atlanta, Cobb County Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said. The Cobb County Police department received several 911 calls at approximately 2:20 p.m.on Monday about a woman shot near the Macy's main entrance on the west side of the mall.
Monday afternoon's shooting was the second in three days outside a Cobb County shopping mall. On Saturday, a security guard was shot to death on a road leading into the Town Center at Cobb, approximately 13 miles away from the Cumberland Mall. The alleged shooter in Saturday's shooting incident later died of a self-inflicted gunshot, according to police. The two shooting incidents do not appear to be related.
Shootings at privately owned public spaces, considered "soft targets," approximately 85 percent of all the nation's infrastructure have become the norm in America. In addition to shopping malls, other "soft targets" include airports, public transportation systems, hotels, churches, universities, sports arenas and movie theaters.
The U.S. government has no control over safety and security at publicly owned space such as shopping malls. The overwhelming majority of mall security guards, the first line of defense when shootings occur, are unarmed, and poorly trained and under paid.
In September, 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the "If You See Something, Say Something" public awareness campaign to shopping malls across America.
Following the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater in July, 2012, an instructional video on how to survive an active shooter incident surfaced from the U'S. Department of Homeland Security. The video offers some practical tips, such as locking doors behind you, silencing cellphones, and as a last resort, do everything possible to take the shooter down.
"Your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan," the narrator says. "The plan doesn't have to be complicated. There are three things you could do that make a difference: run, hide, fight."
In mass shooting incidents, simply thinking about what you would do ahead of time could save lives.