Mall murder suspect Shell has a history of domestic violence

Albert Shell Jr. has been identified as a suspect in Saturday’s fatal shooting at the Paddock Mall, according to the Ocala Police Department. [Photo Courtesy of Marion County Jail Inmate Database]

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Posted January 4, 2024 | By Andy Filmore

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include additional criminal history during 2023 and increased reward.

Albert Shell Jr., the suspect in the Dec. 23 Paddock Mall shootings that claimed the life of one person and injured another, was no stranger to law enforcement.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the agency had 30 calls for service in 2023 to the last known address for Shell, a single-family residence in Ocala Park Estates.

Shell remained at large Saturday morning despite a $20,000 reward for information about his whereabouts.

The arrest warrant tied to the mall shootings lists one count of premeditated first-degree murder in the death of David Barron, 40, of Ocala and one count of attempted premeditated first-degree murder in the wounding of a woman who police said was a bystander. The “Gazette’’ is withholding the identity of the woman, whose wound police said was not life-threatening.

The “Gazette” found the Ocala Park Estates house identified on the warrant to be well-maintained. There were no vehicles on the property, and no one answered the door on Friday Dec. 29.

Ocala Police Department records indicate Shell was arrested Feb. 17, 2023 and charged with grand theft criminal mischief and burglary in connection with a Feb 12, 2023 break-in at a convenience store in the 2000 block of W. Silver Springs Blvd.

According to a OPD spokesperson, when Shell was charged in the Feb 12 case, he was already jailed on Marion County Sheriff’s Office charges of aggravated battery (bodily harm or disability) and false imprisonment of an adult stemming from a Feb. 16, 2023 incident.

The Feb. 16 MCSO case narrative accused Shell of felony battery on an unidentified female, spraying her with Pine Sol, hitting her with an ironing board when she held a knife to defend herself and then engaging in a fight. According to the narrative, the female grabbed a knife and attempted to stab Shell to defend herself then tried to flee when Sheel restrained and punched her.

The female was “spitting blood” and bruised according to responding deputies.

OPD records show Shell was arrested on Sept. 27, 2023 after he fled the passenger seat of a 2013 Dodge Ram which was stopped in southwest Ocala by OPD officers who observed the truck had no rear lights and one headlight was out.

Shell ignored orders to stop but was detained by officers P.Matthews and S.Kelly.

A K-9 officer alerted on the vehicle and part of a marijuana cigarillo was found in the passenger area.

Shell was charged with marijuana possession, less than 20 grams and resisting arrest without violence.

Jail records indicate Shell was booked Sept. 27 on a traffic misdemeanor and the warrants related to the July 17 incident.

An arrest document for an alleged case of felony domestic battery on July 17, 2023 included charges of: felony harassing, tampering or interfering with communication by a witness or victim. The address on that incident is redacted, but the report says that Shell lived at the incident location “with the (female victim whom the “Gazette” is not identifying) off and on in an intimate relationship for over a year.”

The arrest document states the victim said Shell believed she was “on the phone with another man and was cheating on him.”

According to the document, Shell allegedly “kicked the front door of the residence” and “followed (the victim) grabbed her by the hair and dragged her” into a bathroom and “backed her into a corner.” When the victim tried to get away, Shell allegedly “grabbed her by the hair” and caused her to “slam her head on the tile” and soon “grabbed her throat impeding her ability to breathe.”

A deputy noted a “large swollen knot” and red discoloration on the victim’s throat.

The arrest documents state two unidentified children–at least one of whom called Shell ‘daddy ‘– were in the residence during the incident. One child was listed as 11  years old; there was no age provided for the second child.

At one point during the altercation, the two children were described as banging on the closed bathroom door where the suspect and victim were located. The suspect allegedly interfered with attempts by one of the children to call 911, the document states.

An air unit and a K-9 unit responded in the July 17, 2023 incident but authorities were unable to locate Shell.

The arrest document states the suspect had a prior conviction for battery in July, 2012.

The MCSO Public Information Coordinator stated records indicate “(t)hree of the last four (responses to the address) were field-initiated calls, our civil department was attempting to serve civil documents. The last call was a circumstances/suspicious incident call, the caller reported that the blinds in the home have been down and that is abnormal. The house was checked by deputies and appears to be vacant.”

Marion County Jail records indicate Shell was booked on Sept. 27, 2023 and held on two unrelated charges and on two charges listed in a warrant related in the July 17, 2023 case.  Jail records indicate he was released on bail on Sept. 28, 2023.

As previously reported, Shell had two warrants for arrest outstanding, both misdemeanors at the time of the shooting. One, dated Oct. 26, 2023 that listed the address of the July 17, 2023 incident, is for contempt of court; another, dated Oct. 27, 2023, is for failure of the defendant on bail to appear and has an address in the city of Ocala.

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