Two men are dead following a shooting in a mall in Ottawa's east end Wednesday evening.

Police received the call around 8:30 p.m., a half hour before closing time, after gunshots were heard at the Gloucester Centre shopping plaza.

Ambulances raced to the scene and paramedics confirmed two people died from gunshot wounds. They showed no vital signs when paramedics arrived and at least one had been shot in the head.

Lead investigator, Ottawa police Det. Kevin Wilcox, confirmed the shootings were not random.

Both victims were reportedly shot at the Caribbean Exposure tanning salon in the mall. The company's owner Kevin Foisy confirmed to CBC News over the phone from Florida the victims are Graham Thomas, 35, and Jason Chapman, 31.

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Graham Thomas, 35, was killed in a fatal double shooting at an east Ottawa mall Wednesday. He was a father of twin one-year-olds. (Facebook)

"I'm just in complete awe, it doesn't seem real at this point," said Foisy, who knew Thomas for more than 15 years, "It's a tragic loss, it's like losing a family member."

Foisy did say Thomas was jailed in 2000 for more than two years.

One victim co-owned salon franchise

Thomas co-owned the salon's franchise location at the Gloucester Centre with his wife and business partner Patti Brunette-Thomas. The Ottawa couple had purchased the franchise in 2006.

They had a twin boy and girl together, who turned one in September.

A witness at the Zellers store next to the tanning salon told CBC News she heard four or five shots, then saw security guards sprinting towards the scene. She said when she passed by the salon she saw people performing CPR on somebody inside.

No arrests have been made and none is imminent, according to Kevin Wilcox, in the city's eighth and ninth homicides of 2011.

He also told CBC Ottawa's Steve Fischer the major crimes unit is currently collecting surveillance video as part of the investigation.