A New Orleans man started the gun battle that left him and two others dead inside a Louisiana gun store on Saturday afternoon, according to police.
Joshua Jamal Williams, 27, reportedly walked into Jefferson Gun Outlet – a store and indoor shooting range – in Metairie with his brother yesterday at around 3pm, carrying a pistol with an extended magazine unholstered.
When staff approached him to ask him to unload his weapon, Williams fired off a warning shot and then fatally shot 47-year-old store clerk Noah Fischbach, police sources told NOLA.com.
Several armed patrons inside the gun outlet then began exchanging gunfire with Williams.
Williams and a woman were fatally hit during the melee.
The suspect died in the parking lot as he was attempting to flee the scene, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
The woman, who has not yet been named, meanwhile, was shot dead near the store’s glass front door, which was shattered.
A female victim of Saturday’s shooting in Metairie was shot dead in the doorway of Jefferson Gun Outlet
Store clerk Noah Fischbach (above), 47, was also shot dead. He was killed by Williams moments after the argument over his unholstered weapon began
The suspect died in the parking lot as he was attempting to flee the scene, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said
Two others were also injured the hail of gunfire, one of whom was Williams’ brother.
His brother and the other victim were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Speaking to NOLA.com, a relative of Williams’ questioned the police’s account of what happened in the moments before the shooting.
The relative, who wished to remain anonymous, said they doubted Williams, who had, according to them, gone to the gun store for target practice while spending time with his brother, would show up looking for a gun fight.
They said the Jefferson Gun Outlet is a well-known hangout for off-duty law enforcement and ex-military personnel.
‘That would be a death sentence,’ the relative said.
A woman who identified herself as Williams’ mother similarly wrote to Facebook: ‘My son did not go into that gun range shooting!’, according to NOLA.
‘Joshua … was fired at by … employees of the gun range and other folks in the gun range! He was murdered! (Rest in peace) my love, you will be forever in my heart!’
A man cries out ‘Where is my son?’ at the scene of a multiple fatality shooting at the Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie
Witnesses told FOX8 they felt thankful to walk away from the shooting alive, describing the incident inside the store as being like ‘a war’
A gun matching the description of one Williams was carrying is seen next to the curtains in front of a dead body
Fischbach has been identified as a married father, with his social media profile describing him as a as a special effects technician and armorer for film and television productions.
‘Noah Fischbach was my favorite person in this store,’ wrote Heather Devall wrote in a tribute on Facebook. ‘He made my knowledge of firearms and cartridges much better but constant conversations in our interactions buying what we have from him.
;He will never know the impact he made on our lives and while we didn’t make it in often anymore. We will definitely miss him.’
In a press conference from the scene yesterday, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said: ‘We had one initial shooter here at the scene who hit two victims inside the location, both of them have been identified as deceased at this location.
‘It appears that several individuals ended up engaging that suspect, whether inside or out here in the parking lot.’
Two separate ‘shields’ had been set up in the parking lot, which are typically used to block bodies from view.
A woman sat in a folding chair around 15-feet away from the store was seen crying and calling out, ‘Josh this is Momma. I love you.’
Another man was pictured crying out ‘Where is my son?’ at the scene of the shooting.
Two separate ‘shields’ had been set up in the parking lot, which are typically used to block bodies from view
A Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Chaplain comforts two women by a Taco Bell drive thru window next door to the scene of a multiple fatality shooting
Witnesses told FOX8 they felt thankful to walk away from the shooting alive, describing the incident inside the store as being like ‘a war’.
‘It was a lot it was a lot like you could tell it was a gunfight. It was a gunfight, that’s all I knew,’ Wanetta Joseph said.
‘The whole ground was moving. It felt like they were going to shoot through the wall, you could smell the gunsmoke, that’s how crazy it was. We felt like we were in a war.’
Joseph said she was in an upstairs classroom for a conceal carry class when the shooting started.
She laid on the floor as the gunshots volley out beneath them.
‘It was over we thought we were over like we thought we didn’t know if there were multiple gunmen we didn’t know if the gunman was down we had no idea what was going on.’
People console one another across the street from the Jefferson Gun Outlet as investigators with the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Department work the scene
According to its website, the Jefferson Gun Outlet is ‘the premier firearms outlet for the Greater New Orleans Area’ and offers ‘FULL AUTO Machine Gun Experiences’ at its indoor 25-yard firing range with 14 lanes
According to its website, the Jefferson Gun Outlet is ‘the premier firearms outlet for the Greater New Orleans Area’ and offers ‘FULL AUTO Machine Gun Experiences’ at its indoor 25-yard firing range with 14 lanes.
Guns and ammunition are sold in the front of the outlet that faces a main thoroughfare through Jefferson Parish. Customers who want to frequent the gun range generally go around to the side entrance of the building. Staff who work there often wear a sidearm.
The shootout comes just months after a deadly Christmas Eve shooting left two men dead in Metairie, Fox News reported.
During that encounter, cops responded to reports of possible gunfire and found the victims dead in a car outside an apartment building, according to the outlet.
Four men were shot, killing two of them, in Metaire two weeks before the Christmas Eve incident.