Metairie, LA – A group of armed citizens stopped an active shooter who opened fire inside a gun store and firing range on Saturday.
The gunman, later identified as 27-year-old Joshua Jamal Williams, murdered a store employee and a customer before he was fatally shot by no less than seven armed customers and store employees, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto told the Associated Press.
Williams’ family said he wasn’t at fault for the incident, The Times-Picayune reported.
“He was MURDERED,” a woman who claimed to be Williams’ mother said in a social media post, according to The Times-Picayune.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) said in a press release that the incident began at the Jefferson Gun Outlet store at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Feb. 20, the Associated Press reported.
Michael Mayer, an executive at Jefferson Gun Outlet, said Williams attacked the business.
“He walked in our store and was asked by our compliance officer to unload his firearm before entering,” Mayer told The Times-Picayune. “He became agitated by the request and pulled his gun out of his pants and started firing. Our armed and trained employees, as well as some armed, permitted customers, returned fire and eliminated the threat. One customer as well as one employee perished in the gun battle. Joshua Williams, the gunman, is also dead.”
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, https://t.co/TGxQguZitE (https://t.co/lHPuJtL0pd) reports. pic.twitter.com/2pHGAz4fOM
— konniemoments1 (@KonnieMoments1) February 22, 2021
Two other people wounded during the shootout remain hospitalized in stable condition, Sheriff Lopinto told the Associated Press.
He said investigators are still “trying to put it all together.”
Wanetta Joseph and Tyrone Russell said they were in the midst of a concealed carry course at the gun outlet when the mass shooting occurred, the Associated Press reported.
Joseph, who described the gunfire as being like a bomb, hid under a table with other students.
“We heard the gunshots and the screaming,” Russell told the Associated Press. “When the police came, they escorted us out. I could see glass everywhere…It was just like a really scary scene.”
Here at the scene of where JPSO says multiple shootings just took place here at the Jefferson Gun Outlet. At least one dead. We are working to find out details on the situation. Watch @wdsu at 5P. pic.twitter.com/jkLpj55pee
— Shay O'Connor (@SOCONNORNEWS) February 20, 2021
Family members identified the store employee who was murdered in the attack as 47-year-old Herbert “Noah” Fischbach, The Times-Picayune reported.
Fischbach, who leaves behind his wife and a 13-year-old son, was working as a clerk at the store that day.
He had been with the gun outlet since 1998.
The second victim has been identified as 59-year-old Veronica Billiot, The Times-Picayune reported.
Both were pronounced dead as the scene, Sheriff Lopinto said.