MELBOURNE, Fla. – A quick-thinking Melbourne barbershop owner shot and disarmed a disgruntled customer who returned with a handgun he used to point at customers, barbers and two young children, according to Melbourne police records.
The situation unfolded Saturday at the New York Hair Barbershop on West Florida Avenue in Melbourne. The suspect was booked into the Brevard County Jail Thursday.
The owner of the barbershop told Melbourne police Marlon Mascoe, 24, came in and was waiting for another barber to cut his hair. The owner offered to cut his hair instead but Mascoe declined. The owner said he made a joke that he wasn’t good enough to cut Mascoe’s hair and said Mascoe had “nappy hair like me.” The owner said Mascoe appeared upset and walked out.
About 10 minutes later, the owner was cutting another person’s hair when Mascoe returned wearing a face mask and holding a black handgun. He also had a hooded sweatshirt pulled over his head, according to the report. The barber said he recognized Mascoe by his “Jamaican accent” and because he had been in the shop just a few minutes prior.
The barber said Mascoe said, “This is real, this is a real gun” and pointed the weapon at barbers and patrons in the shop.
A witness later told Melbourne police, “When (Mascoe) was pointing it at me ... I was looking down the barrel.”
As Mascoe continued to point the gun at people, the shop owner said he retrieved his firearm and ducked behind a barber chair.
The barber said when Mascoe turned, he took the opportunity to shoot him. After Mascoe was on the ground, the barber instructed someone else to call 911, according to the report.
In the 911 call, the caller described what had unfolded inside the shop.
“Somebody ran in here with a gun and aimed it at the barber and he got shot,” the caller said, adding “self-defense, stand your ground.”
The shop owner told police two young children were crying and screaming through the incident.
“We got kids in here and everything,” the caller said.
A young child can be heard crying and asking for his dad. Multiple people were yelling in the background as the caller described what happened to dispatchers.
“This is chaos,” the dispatcher said at one point after getting disconnected from the 911 caller.
Multiple witnesses confirmed the barbershop owner’s account and that they were in fear for their lives.
The 24-year-old suspect from Palm Bay was shot in the right hip area and taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Police formally charged Mascoe on Thursday at the hospital with displaying a firearm during the commission of a felony, and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Mascoe is set to face a judge Friday for his first appearance.