One dead as fight turns to fatal shooting at North Carolina mall

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Details Emerge on Charlotte Mall Shooting

(Reuters) - An armed male in a fight inside a mall packed with Christmas shoppers in Charlotte, North Carolina, was shot by an off-duty officer working security and died at the scene on Thursday, police said.

The officer heard shots among two groups of people who got into a fight and encountered the man, who pointed his weapon at the officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney told a news conference. The officer shot the man.

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Charlotte, NC mall shooting tweets
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One dead as fight turns to fatal shooting at North Carolina mall
BREAKING: Police now confirm #northlakemall shooting is an officer involved shooting- started when 2 people were arguing. 1 person dead
Witness says officer shot and killed gunman inside @ShopNorthlakeNC he heard arguing before shooting @WBTV_News https://t.co/hXvglWSGfJ
shopper who was inside #NorthlakeMall said she heard someone say "he's got a gun"; then she heard someone emptying a gun. @WBTV_News
Traffic at standstill on W. WT Harris Blvd & on ramps; people were hoping to get to mall. #NorthlakeMall @WBTV_News https://t.co/ASH0eC0Cz5
"The first thing I did was run to the storage room" Macy's employee says upon hearing of shots @WBTV_News
#NorthlakeMall: Woman shielding child. Shooting at the mall, sources say. Story » https://t.co/FWLnYUQSm1 #cltnews https://t.co/y4BIQDrJtM
#Breaking just spoke to shopper, said she heard about a dozen shots, there was a rush of people trying to get out of the mall #wcnc
#Breaking shooting at Northlake Mall, heavy police presence. All entrances to mall blocked #wcnc https://t.co/Z1Vx1HFnkP
Traffic so backed up outside northlake mall cops driving in median https://t.co/HdnfiOZ5Xg
Eyewitness to @dedrickrussell: ppl in Northlake Mall started running thru store, screaming. LIVE now @WBTV_News
Witness says he was in the store Journey when shots fired.Says children running looking for parents @WBTV_News https://t.co/f7TZHmlLaA
More: Shopper at #NorthlakeMall says shooting was so loud & close her ears were ringing; doesn't know what triggered shooting @WBTV_News
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It was not known if he had fired at the officer.

"This is not a random act of violence," Putney said of the incident.

He did not identify the man who died, or the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave, following police protocol.

Putney added that the fight was not gang-related and said weapons were found at the scene.

The mall was evacuated, but there was no continuing threat, said Jeff Keith, deputy director of the Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services Agency.

"With all the things that have occurred in this country in the past couple of years, we want to assure people that this is an isolated, specific event, not of any random nature," he said, without commenting on the reports of the death.

The incident took place near a shoe store on the ground level, and at least two people were injured in a crush of people trying to flee the scene, authorities said.

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