OCALA, FL – A suspect believed to be responsible for a deadly shooting at the Paddock Mall in Ocala last month has been apprehended, revealed Ocala police. Albert Shell Jr., 39, stands accused of a targeted attack that resulted in the death of a man and injured an innocent bystander.
The arrest was a joint effort of the Ocala police, the U.S. Marshals Service, specifically the Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. According to Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken, hundreds of crucial tips steered the investigation towards locating Shell, who was traced to a residence nearly 20 miles southwest of Ocala.
Shell was tracked down early on Monday, surrounded by law enforcement at his hideout, leading to around two hours of negotiations before his surrender. Police believe the steadily increasing reward for information, reaching $20,000 last week, crucially facilitated leads and consequent capture.
Law enforcement captured and shared the moment of the arrest via body camera footage. Broadcasting on social media platforms, it provides a timestamp shortly before 2 a.m. on Monday.
Shell has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and attempted premeditated first-degree murder. The incident from Dec. 23, 2023, portrayed Shell entering a high-traffic area of the mall and firing multiple shots, triggering an active shooter situation and chaos among Christmas shoppers taking cover.
Upon arrival, the police discovered the lifeless form of 40-year-old David Nathaniel Barron and an injured woman who subsequently recovered in a local hospital. Preliminary investigations suggest that Barron and Shell were work colleagues at some point.
Police Chief Balken expressed outrage at Shell’s criminal history, asserting that he should not have been at large: “His criminal history alone tells me he should have never been on the streets to be able to commit this crime, and we are going to see to it that he spends the rest of his life behind bars.”