GREENWOOD, Ind. — A gunman killed three people and injured two other Sunday evening in the food court of an Indiana mall. Authorities said a 22-year-old bystander, who was legally armed, shot and killed the assailant.
Update 3:15 p.m. EDT July 18: Authorities are working to determine a possible motive for the shooting Sunday that left three people dead and two injured at Indiana’s Greenwood Park Mall.
Authorities identified the slain victims as 30-year-old Victor Gomez, 56-year-old Pedro Pineda and Pineda’s wife, 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda. The gunman, who was killed by a bystander, was identified as 20-year-old Jonathan Douglas Sapirman of Greenwood.
“His family members that we spoke to, they were just as surprised as everyone else was,” Chief Jason Ison said Monday. “They said there were no indicators that he was violent or unstable.”
The police chief said that surveillance video showed that Sapirman entered the mall more than an hour before the shooting. He spent just over an hour in a bathroom by the food court before he opened fire.
It was not immediately clear why Sapirman spent so much time in the bathroom, though the chief said investigators believe that he was preparing for the shooting.
Authorities found the gunman’s cellphone in a toilet and another rifle in the bathroom. In addition to the one used in Sunday’s shooting, officials said they also found a third firearm on Sapirman. The 20-year-old had more than 100 rounds of ammunition on him at the time of the shooting, Ison said.
All three guns were purchased legally by Sapirman, according to the police chief.
In Sapirman’s apartment, officials found a laptop and a can of butane inside an oven that had been turned on to a high temperature.
“I don’t want to speculate what his intentions were, whether it could have been to cause a fire or to damage the laptop, but we did retrieve the laptop and that is going to go to Quantico to be analyzed,” Ison said. “It has been damaged due to the heat in the oven.”
Police have subpoenaed the apartment complex in order to get Sapirman’s rental records. Family members told investigators that Sapirman had been served with an eviction notice. Ison said the 20-year-old had resigned from a warehouse job in May.
Update 3 p.m. EDT July 18: Officials said that 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken, of Seymour, Indiana, engaged the gunman who opened fire at Greenwood Park Mall, killing him.
Police Chief Jason Ison praised Dicken, who he said fired at 20-year-old Jonathan Douglas Sapirman afte the younger man began shooting at people in the mall food court from outside a nearby restroom. Three people died in the shooting -- identified as 30-year-old Victor Gomez, 56-year-old Pedro Pineda and Pineda’s wife, 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda -- and two others were injured.
“His actions were nothing short of heroic,” Ison said. “He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun, was very proficient in that, very tactically sound, and as he moved to close in on the suspect he was also motioning for people to exit behind him.”
Police said they recovered 22 rounds fired by Sapirman from the scene and 10 rounds fired by Dicken.
Ison said Dicken was visiting the mall to go shopping with his girlfriend.
Update 2:55 p.m. EDT July 18: Greenwood Police Chief Jason Ison identified two people injured in Sunday’s shooting as a 22-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl.
Ison said the injured woman suffered a gunshot wound to her leg. The girl was struck by a bullet fragment believed to have ricocheted off a wall, the chief said. He described the girl’s injury as minor.
Earlier, police identified the people slain in Sunday’s shooting as 30-year-old Victor Gomez, 56-year-old Pedro Pineda and Pineda’s wife, 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda. Officials identified the gunman, who was shot by an armed bystander, as 20-year-old Jonathan Douglas Sapirman.
Update 2:35 p.m. EDT July 18: Authorities identified the three people killed in Sunday’s shooting as 30-year-old Victor Gomez, of Indianapolis, 56-year-old Pedro Pineda, also of Indianapolis, and Pineda’s wife, 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda.
Officials also identified the shooter, who was killed by a bystander, as 20-year-old Jonathan Douglas Sapirman of Greenwood.
Authorities said Sapirman died after he was shot by a good Samaritan.
“We’re very thankful for the young, 22-year-old man who stopped this violent act,” Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said at a news conference Monday. “This young man, Greenwood’s good Samaritan, acted within seconds, stopping the shooter and saving countless lives. Our city, our community and our state is grateful for his heroism in this situation.”
Update 9:57 p.m. EDT July 17 : The victims shot were identified by police only as one male victim and four female victims, including a 12-year-old girl who sustained a minor injury to her back, WTHR-TV reported.
Greenwood Chief of Police James Isom called the armed bystander who shot the gunman a “good Samaritan” who is cooperating fully with the investigation. He confirmed that the bystander is 22 and hails from Bartholomew County.
“The real hero of the day is the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as he began,” Ison said during a Sunday evening news conference.
Update 9:03 p.m. EDT July 17: Officials with the Greenwood Police Department revised the death toll in Sunday’s shooting to four and confirmed in a news conference just before 9 p.m. EDT that the gunman is included in that figure, according to The Associated Press.
According to police, the gunman opened fire with a rifle in the mall’s food court, and an armed civilian fatally shot him.
Greenwood Police Department Chief Jim Ison said during a news conference that the man carried several magazines of ammunition into the mall, but he did not identify the shooter.
Two other people wounded in the shooting are being treated at area hospitals, WTHR reported.
Ison also stated that police confiscated a suspicious backpack that was found in a bathroom near the food court.
“We are sickened by yet another type of incident like this in our country,” Indianapolis Assistant Chief of Police Chris Bailey said during the news conference.
Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers released a statement on Facebook reading in part: “This tragedy hits at the core of our community. Please offer your prayers to the victims and our first responders.”
Update 7:52 p.m. EDT July 17: Greenwood Police confirmed to WTHR that two people are dead and three others wounded in the shooting.
While police previously confirmed that the suspected shooter is dead, it was not immediately clear if the gunman is counted among the police department’s confirmed death toll, the TV station reported.
Officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to WTHR that all evidence indicates that the shots were only fired in the mall’s food court area.
There is no known ongoing threat to the public, the department stated during a 7:45 p.m. EDT news conference.
Update 7:12 p.m. EDT July 17: Police confirmed to WTHR just after 7 p.m. EDT that the suspected gunman has died.
Witnesses told the TV station that they heard about 20 gunshots fired in the mall’s food court.
Original report: According to police, “several” people were injured in the shooting at Greenwood Park Mall, including the suspected gunman, WTHR-TV reported.
Authorities are asking the public to avoid the area while first-responders continue clearing the mall, WPTA reported.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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