Millersville grad randomly shot, killed at Tennessee mall


SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A York, Pennsylvania woman was shot and killed outside a Tennessee outlet mall by a gunman who shot and wounded another man before killing himself, police said.

Olivia Miller Cunningham, 24, was in Tennessee with her in-laws. While shopping, she stepped outside the store to call her sister and wish her a happy birthday. She was shot while on the phone with her sister, sources told ABC27 News.

Cunningham was a 2015 graduate of Millersville University, where she earned a bachelor of science in speech communication, public relations and held a minor in international studies. She was an intern in the university’s public relations office during her senior year.

“I was like, oh, my God, Olivia. Olivia worked for me,” Millersville spokeswoman Janet Kacskos said. “I was just horrified and trying to think of who else knew her that I could reach out to.”

“She was just such a delight to work with,” she said. 

Cunningham and John Marr, 74, of Templeton, Massachusetts, were confronted by the gunman Tuesday afternoon outside the Coach store in Tanger Five Oaks Mall. The gunman, 21-year-old Leon Steven Jones of Newport, Tennessee, shot Cunningham and Marr with a semi-automatic handgun and then shot himself with the same weapon, Sevierville, Tennessee police said.

Investigators say it appears the shooter didn’t know either victim, and the victims were not related. They said it appears to have been a random shooting. The investigation is ongoing.

“He walked up and opened fire just outside the store,” said Sevierville police spokesman Bob Stahlke said. “I do not know if he was in the store before the shooting or where he would have been in the mall itself.”

Stahlke said each victim was at the mall with at least one family member, and both just happened to be outside when the gunman came.

The outlet mall is near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

As the investigation continues ABC27 News is working to learn more about who Olivia Cunningham was. If you have any information please contact us at (717) 236-1444 or email us at 

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