close
close

Two dead in mass shooting in Apalachee Parkway parking lot

play

Two men died and unknown others suffered gunshot wounds in a shooting in the parking lot of a shopping center on Apalachee Parkway early Sunday morning.

Tallahassee police responded to the Parkway Center just after 2:30 a.m. after receiving a call about shots fired. They found “multiple” gunshot victims, including two men who died at the scene.

The mass shooting occurred as residents, officials and first responders were still grappling with the effects of twin tornadoes that struck much of Tallahassee with winds of up to 100 miles per hour.

The USA TODAY Network and Tallahassee Democrat define a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people are struck by gunfire, even if there are no fatalities.

A TPD watch commander told the Democrat that none of the stores were open at the time and that the shooting occurred outside. Shops in the mall reported Saturday evening that they still had no power following Friday's tornadoes that left much of the city in the dark.

At least a dozen officers were still on the scene several hours after the shooting. Crime scene tape was clearly visible in the parking lot from the corner of the parkway on Magnolia Drive to the Harbor Freight Tools store.

More than 80 evidence markers were scattered around the crime scene, and police had set up barriers around the two bodies lying in the parking lot outside Ross Dress for Less. A resident in a nearby neighborhood woke up to the sound of gunfire and then the wail of police sirens at the scene. He told the Democrat he heard more than 20 shots.

“Officers arrived on scene and located multiple victims suffering from gunshot wounds,” TPD said. “Unfortunately two adult males were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other adult victims were taken to a local hospital with gunshot wounds. However, her condition is unknown.”

TPD did not say whether there were any suspects at large or whether anyone was taken into custody or arrested.

“This remains an open and active investigation and updates will be provided as more information becomes available,” TPD said.

The Democrat asked TPD spokespeople the following questions, but there was no response.

  • Is there a suspect or arrests?
  • Should citizens be aware that a suspect is at large?
  • Is this an isolated case?
  • Had a crowd gathered in the parking lot before the mass shooting?
  • Do we believe the victims were the intended targets of the shooting?

So far in 2024, 13 people have been killed and 23 injured in 30 shootings in Tallahassee and Leon County, according to a Democratic analysis of gun violence.

Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the shooting but did not speak to officers at the scene to call TPD at 850-891-4200. Witnesses can also call the anonymous Crime Solvers hotline at 850-574-TIPS.

A story of mass shootings in Florida's capital

The incident is the fourth mass shooting in the city since 2022.

The last mass shooting occurred in August during a night party outside the Acasa Ocala Apartments, when a fight broke out between two groups and bullets began flying, injuring four people – a man, two women and a teenager

In late 2022, two mass shootings occurred in the city about a month apart, fatally wounding two innocent bystanders and injuring a dozen others.

The first took place on West Pensacola Street when a gun battle broke out in a crowd of revelers. The second case occurred on the outdoor basketball courts at Florida A&M University's Student Recreation Center when a man approached the court and began shooting.

In late April, USA TODAY NETWORK – Florida reported that Florida had the most mass shootings in the U.S. so far in 2024, following a shooting in Daytona Beach that left four people injured. Before the Tallahassee incident, Florida had seen 12 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

Mass shootings in numbers: With the Daytona Beach shootings, Florida has the most mass shootings in the US so far in 2024. Find out where here

TPD says the shooting occurred outside the pool hall; The business owner and reporter on the scene say this is not the case

In a Facebook post, Tallahassee police reported that the shooting occurred outside Zingales Billiards and Sports Bar at 1147 Apalachee Parkway. However, when the Democrat contacted the owner of the establishment, he said that was not the case.

He woke up Sunday morning to a “phone exploding.”

Michael Zingale told the Democrat in an interview that the pool hall, like neighboring businesses, was closed.

“We’ve been without power for the last three days, so we weren’t even open,” he said.

Earlier in the day, he and his father, Jim Zingale, executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue, threw out spoiled food and hauled water from the store so it could open when the power comes back on.

There was no caution tape or evidence markers in front of Zingales. And he was told that the incident happened outside the nearby liquor store, but even that was closed.

He assumed that some kind of parking lot party had taken place in the darkened parking lot, but the police did not provide any details.

Zingale noted that during long hours there is private security and police in the store and outside.

“I’m really sad to say that if I had been open, this wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

Contact Jeff Burlew at jburlew@tallahassee.com or 850-599-2180.

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *