By Dennis Romero – NBC News
Three people were killed and two injured Sunday after multiple people at a gun store in the New Orleans area opened fire, a sheriff’s officer said.
The violence at the Jefferson gun outlet in Metairie, Louisiana, began after a “first shooter” opened fire, injuring two people and motivating others in the store to fire their own guns, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said at a news conference.
The two people were pronounced dead at the scene, he said.
Capt. Jason Rivarde of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office added in a statement that the person suspected of initiating the shooting has also died.
“It appears that several people shot the original suspect,” Lopinto said. “From what I understand, I have multiple shooters here at this location who were customers, employees, or people here at the location itself.”
Two other people injured by the shooting were hospitalized and believed to be stablesaid the bailiff.
NBC affiliate station WDSU of New Orleans reported that the person authorities believe was the initial shooter may have entered the business with a loaded and exposed weapon, sparking an argument that led to the shooting.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tweeted that it is cooperating with the sheriff’s investigation.
BREAKING: .@ATFNewOrleans has Special Agents on the scene of a shooting at a store in Metairie, LA. Agents are assisting and working with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Follow our partner .@JeffParishSO for updates. pic.twitter.com/7ZfWu889uV
— ATF New Orleans (@ATFNewOrleans) February 20, 2021