Charges Against Opry Mills Shooter Justin Golson Dismissed
The charge against Justin Golson, who shot another man inside the Opry Mills shopping mall in Nashville, Tenn., in early May, has been dismissed. The 22-year-old had been charged with criminal homicide following the incident, which left his victim dead.
According to News Channel 5, the criminal homicide charge against Golson was dismissed on Monday (July 30). Further details have not been made available; at the time of the shooting, police categorized the incident as part of an "ongoing dispute," and noted that both Golson and his victim, 22-year-old Demarco Churchwell, were known to police.
Golson shot Churchwell around 2:23PM local time on May 3, following an altercation in a hallway that led to a fight outside the Lidz and Auntie Anne's locations across from the Old Navy in Opry Mills. He then fled the scene and ran to a Grand Ole Opry ticket booth located near the mall, where he surrendered his pistol to a retired California police officer, who was at the booth and took control of the situation. News Channel 5 reports that Golson told detective that he was acting in self-defense, and that Churchwell and his friends had threatened him on social media.
Opry Mills is adjacent to both the Opryland Resort & Convention Center and the Grand Ole Opry House, all of which are located northeast of downtown Nashville, just off of Briley Parkway. It opened in 2000, on the location of the former Opryland USA theme park, is operated by Simon Property Group and houses about 200 stores. On the day of the shooting, Tennessee Highway Patrol employees were performing motorcycle training in the Bass Pro Shops parking lot at the time, and troopers responded immediately to assist Nashville police.
Following the shooting, the mall was swept as a precaution, and the McGavock Pike ramp to Briley Parkway was closed to vehicles. In addition to the Opryland hotel, Two Rivers Middle School, Pennington Elementary School, McGavock Elementary School, Stanford Montessori and Litton Middle School, all located nearby, were locked out; three students who were at the Academy at Opry Mills when the shooting took place were taken to McGavock High School.