Mall shooting suspect's mother calls him 'displeased customer'

Mall shooting suspect's mother calls him 'displeased customer'

Posted: Updated:

By WHITNEY HOLMES
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Although police haven't released a motive yet, the mother of the suspect in the Knoxville Center Mall shooting says her son was a "displeased customer" of the menswear store where an employee was killed.

Gladys Johnson, who spoke to 6 News by phone Thursday, says she was shocked when she learned her son, William Johnson, was charged in the shooting at Reno Menswear. 

A Reno employee, Ahmad Nahl, was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon. William Johnson is charged with one count of felony murder.

Gladys Johnson says there was an ongoing incident between her son and the store over three suits he purchased there for a total of nearly $1,000.

She says two of the suits were tailored incorrectly and the third suit was misplaced, but her son was denied a refund.

The state Department of Safety says Johnson doesn't have a handgun carry permit.

She adds that he doesn't have a temper and always makes people laugh.

William Johnson was charged with assault in Knox County in 1991. However, the charge was later dismissed.

His mother also says he's the father of a seven-year-old child.

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