Three people were killed and two were injured Saturday when multiple people at a New Orleans-area gun store and shooting range opened fire, a sheriff’s official said.
The violence at Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie, Louisiana, erupted after an “initial shooter” opened fire, striking two people and prompting others at the store to shoot their own weapons, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said at a news conference.
The two were pronounced dead at the scene, he said.
Capt. Jason Rivarde of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a later statement that the person suspected of being the initial gunman was also killed in the shootout.
“It appears that several individuals ended up engaging that original suspect,” Lopinto said. “From what I understand I have multiple shooters here at this location that were either customers, employees or individuals here at the location itself.”
Two others struck by gunfire were hospitalized and believed to be stable, the sheriff said.
NBC affilaite WDSU of New Orleans reported that the person authorities believe to be the initial gunman might have entered the business with an unholstered, loaded gun, prompting an argument in which shots were fired.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tweeted that it was assisting with the sheriff’s investigation.
Jay Varela and Alec Hernandez contributed.